J&K transporters announce indefinite strike from Feb 24

Pinched by the soaring prices of petroleum, over 3 lakh people associated with the transport sector in Jammu and Kashmir have decided to go on an indefinite strike from February 24, seeking revision of fares.

All Jammu and Kashmir Transporters Welfare Committee – an amalgam of various transport segment associations – has called for an indefinite strike saying that the administration had failed to revise the transport fares despite the skyrocketing petroleum prices during the past few years.

General Secretary, Kashmir Welfare Transporters Association, Muhammad Yusuf said, “Since 2018, when the last time transport fares were revised, the petroleum prices have increased by over Rs 25 per litre. In 2018, diesel was being sold at Rs 69 per litre, today it is sold at Rs 84 per litre, but still the fares are unchanged. Apart from the price of other petroleum products, taxes have increased manifold. In such a situation, transporters have no other option than to go for an indefinite strike to press for fare revision.”

He said that the Kashmir’s transport sector was suffering badly and despite the assurances of the government, there had been no practical implementation of packages announced by it.

“More than 3 lakh people are associated with the transport sector across Jammu and Kashmir that are continuously neglected by the government,” Yusuf said. “The transporters are facing tough times. Despite working hard, our earnings are shrinking due to increasing petroleum prices. So, we have decided that if the government won’t increase fares, it is better to sit idle at home then to incur losses due to increasing cost of operation.”

According to the transporters, the strike would be observed by all segments of the transport sector including tanker owners, auto drivers and cabs across Jammu and Kashmir.

Echoing similar views, Jammu Transporters Welfare Committee President Vijay Singh said, “Our strike is indefinite as the government has failed to redress our genuine grievances. Our cost of operation has increased manifold. We have submitted it to the Transport department as well. Earlier, we also took the issue up with the Finance department. However, so far, there is no response from the government.”

The soaring petrol prices are giving a tough time to both the transporters as well as common people.