The indefinite strike by scores of sumo vehicle drivers plying on various routes in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district has entered second day today on Thursday.
Around a 100 sumo vehicle drivers plying on Pulwama Rohmu and Pulwama Gusoo routes went on an indefinite strike after residents and Shopkeepers denied them parking space near Murran Chowk.
The agitated sumo drivers said they have no parking space for their vehicles and they used to park their vehicles in Murran Chowk area of Pulwama town for past six years.
Mohammad Shafi, a Sumo vehicle driver said that on 22 August they were manhandled by residents at Murran Chowk after six houses were gutted in an incident of fire.
“They blame us for chocking the road. The shopkeepers too turned hostile against us and didn’t allow us to park our vehicles near their shops,” he said, adding they were forced to go on an indefinite strike and block these routes to stop other vehicles from plying on the road to impress on the authorities to allocate parking space for them.
“The strike will continue till authorities provide us space for parking our vehicles,” the sumo vehicle drivers said.
When contacted in this matter Assistant Regional Transport officer Pulwama, Qaiser Mehmood said that he is out of the station with his parents and couldn’t talk on the issue.
However, G.M Dar, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama said that the sumo drivers were parking their vehicles at Murran Chowk illegally.
“They have set up an illegal sumo stand near Murran Chowk,” he said, adding they can’t provide alternative space for an illegal stand.
The tussle between authorities and agitated sumo vehicle drivers has caused inconvenience to commuters who have been forced to walk on foot as no bus service is plying on various routes on which these sumo vehicles used to run.
Commuters from two dozen villages including Wahibugh, Gusoo, Chewa-Kalaan, Chewakhurd, Ashmander, Murran, Kangan and Rohmu have been affected by the strike.
G.M Dar, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama said that they will look for alternative arrangements to ease the suffering of commuters.