Majid Kapra

South Kashmir transporters threaten indefinite strike against Toll Tax

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 Srinagar, May 25: Up in arms against the government for failing to address the issue of toll tax imposed by the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) at Sangam, transporters from south Kashmir today threatened indefinite strike after Eid in case the decision was not rolled back.

Angry over what they termed ‘atypical’ decision taken by centre to impose levy on people travelling along the national highway back and forth, the transporters said either the government has to revisit its decision or the transporters will go for indefinite strike after upcoming Eid.

They said given the prevailing situation, transporters hardly get ten or twelve days of business while rest of the month slip away with shutdowns, curbs and restrictions.

“We had recently called for one day token strike in entire south Kashmir against this decision; however we were assured by the authorities that the issue being in active consideration of the Governor will be positively looked into. Now it seems we will have to take some extreme step to press for early exemption of locals from levying toll tax,” Abid Hussain Deen, President, South Kashmir Sumo Transporters Association President told ‘Kashmir Images’.

He said on one hand transporters continue facing loses due to frequent shutdowns, curbs and restrictions while on the other hand government’s recent decision of levying rupees 85 on light passenger vehicles back and forth has broken their back.

Deen said the rate for heavy vehicles has been fixed as 350 while light private vehicles have to pay rupees 65 per turn. He said the NHAI provocative decision has created a sense of aggravation among the masses.

“We recently met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir in this regard who advised us to meet the Governor personally. He told us since the issue is under active consideration of the Governor he will surely help you come out of the duress. So far we couldn’t meet anyone given Governor and his Advisors busy schedule. Now we will sit again on Monday and to discuss the future strategy,” Deen added.

The transporters head said there would be indefinite strike after Eid and no passenger vehicle would ply from Srinagar to Anantnag or back till the government formally exempt locals from paying levy on national highway as assured by the governor recently.

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