Drivers at the Srinagar Municipal Corporation are refusing to use 115 vehicles meant for transportation of garbage that are without any valid documents.
The SMC has 270 vehicles for collecting garbage from around the capital city and transporting to designating dumping sites.
These vehicles include hoopers, compressors, twin dumpers, slow water vehicles, tippers and compactors.
“Out of these 270 vehicles, 115 are without fitness certificate and insurance. Why should we drive them? In case of any road accident, we will be in trouble as law will not accept any excuse from us,” said one driver from a group, wishing not to be named fearing reprisal from authorities responsible for the necessary papers.
Srinagar city has a population of 1.4 million and produces up to 450 metric tons of waste every day.
Recently, the aggrieved drivers observed a token strike that resulted in heaps of uncollected garbage lying in various interior areas of Srinagar.
“The drivers are demanding renewing of documents first. However, no strike call was given by our association. Though we support their demand and urge authorities to fulfill it without any further delay,” said Fayaz Ahmad, President Municipal Transport Association.
Areas affected due to the ‘strike’ by 115 vehicle drivers also included Sanat Nagar, Ralwalpora, Hyderpora, Chanapora and its adjacent uptown areas.
A group of drivers on strike said that a few road accidents occurred in the past involving the vehicles without documents.
“Later, in court, our colleagues had to face wrath of law as they were not having valid fitness certificate and insurance. Therefore, we demand we must be in possession of all valid documents when we ply on roads,” one among the drivers said. Fayaz Ahmad, President Municipal Transport Association, said the issue has been taken with authorities through a written representation.
“The demand is genuine. Our all drivers must have all valid documents when they ply to perform official duties. In absence of any valid document, concerned authorities can penalise us. And the worst is, in case of any road accidents our driver will be held liable for plying without valid documents,” Ahmad said. SMC transport officer Ghulam Muhammad said the issue has been resolved. “The garbage was lifted now from all municipal areas,” he said.
SMC commissioner Khurshid Ahmad Sanaie said all agitating drivers have resumed work as authorities assured them that documents will be made available shortly.