Mir Zeeshan

Cab drivers rue highway restrictions for losses it brings to them

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Pulwama, Apr 14: Hundreds of cab drivers plying along the national highway are up in arms against the two-days-a-week restrictions on civilian traffic movement, saying it is hitting them under the belt.

Since the time this two-day ban was imposed – for three occasions until this Sunday -- they say it has caused significant reduction in their earnings.

Nisar Ahmad, who plies a Sumo cab from Pulwama to Awantipora, told ‘Kashmir Images’ that the recent ban has badly impacted them. According to him the ban has reduced the passenger numbers by some 50 percent as people prefer not to travel on the blockade days.

Today around 11:30 AM, he was eagerly waiting for passengers since morning for his first trip.

"On usual days, I make three to four trips to and fro but on Wednesdays and Sundays I barely get passengers for a single trip" said Ahmad.

Other drivers plying on the routes running through the highway have similar tales to tell.

"On the ban days, only thirty to forty percent passengers are available which has hurt our business badly," said another driver who plies on Pulwama-Pampore route.

Alamdar Sumo Taxi Stand president Mohammad Hussain said that even on other days when there are no restrictions, our vehicles are stopped for hours due to the convoy movements.

"Around 600 vehicles running on different routes of the district are already in losses due to frequent shutdowns in the town. The ban of highway has added to our miseries," Hussain added.

Anantnag Sumo Stand near Shaheed Park Pulwama has 20 vehicles registered with it, said Ulfat Ahmad, president of this stand. “Hardly two to three taxis are able to get passengers on these ban days while others remain idle.”

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