Majid Kapra

Transporters protest; urge govt to allow public transport to ply

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Srinagar: Transporters on Thursday staged a protest here, urging the government to allow public transport to resume operations in the Valley.

They said people associated with the industry have been facing tough time due to the lockdown of past three months of lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak in the Valley.

Protesting transporters also appealed the government to rollback the decision on toll tax in view of the crises triggered by imposition of unprecedented lockdown.

Holding placards in their hands, transporters assembled at the Parimpora Bus Terminal under the banner of All Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association (AKTWA) to protest what they termed government’s alleged apathy to address the issues faced by them in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown.

They also claimed that they have been sitting idle at their homes since August 05, 2019 — the day special status of Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated and erstwhile state bifurcated into two Union Territories.

Matt Shabir Ahmad, who heads AKTWA as its chairman, appealed the authorities to allow local transporters to resume operations so that they are able to feed their families.

He said while the authorities have already okayed plying of the SRTC buses, they should also give green signal to local transporters to resume operation in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley.

“How long are we to suffer? What’s our fault? If government can allow SRTC buses to ferry passengers, why should we suffer and our families face starvation? We have got very little time to work after August 05, 2019; at that time too, authorities were reluctant to allow us to resume services,” added Matt.

He appealed the Lt. Governor, GC Murmu and Commissioner Transport to look into the matter and allow the public transport to resume services.

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