Bandipora, June 8: The tipper and truck vehicle owners dealing with sand and gravel in Bandipora district said they were not able to feed their families amid lockdown and cumbersome government procedures.
The association of these drivers staged a silent protest in this north district and said that many vehicles were being seized on the pretext of operating illegally.
“Four of our vehicles were sized a while ago and one of the vehicle owners who had ventured out after 15 days was booked and had to spend a weekend in custody,” said Farooq Ahmad Mir, a member of the association.
Mir said that the vehicle owners were living in a constant fear of being caught by Police and other departments.
Another driver, Sanaullah said that with lockdown and no work, they were unable to pay off loans on their vehicles and their families were forced to starve.
“We have become suicidal as we are not able to feed our families. We are not able to pay power and water bills,” he said.
The drivers said that the Geology and Mining department had created a chaos in a bid to “streamline the royalty” of sand and gravel.
They said that due to this, not only were the drivers suffering but the people at large were being forced to buy the material at exorbitant rates.
They also requested the Lieutenant Governor and the Deputy Commissioner Bandipora to redress their grievances at the earliest.