Pvt transporters announce suspension of tanker, truck services in J&K

Jammu: Private transporters on Wednesday announced suspension of tanker and truck services in Jammu and Kashmir but said their doors are open for the administration for negotiations to address their genuine demands.
They also put onus on any shortage of essentials on government saying that the government would be responsible for any shortage of essential commodities as most of these tankers and trucks are engaged in transportation of essential supplies.
The agitating transporters, who among other things are seeking an economic package for the industry to overcome the crisis created by the pandemaic, also expressed displeasure over the government move to increase the road or token tax on the old vehicles registered before August 3, 2019 with the concerned transport authorities.
“Jammu and Kashmir has received a new gift in the shape of double token tax at a time of Covid crisis after the recent increase in rate of tax on sale of petrol and diesel, while no attention is paid on our genuine demands.
“As a mark of protest, we are stopping our tanker and truck service from tomorrow (Thursday). The government should be held responsible if there is any shortage of the essential commodities,” Chairman of All J&K Transport Welfare Association (AJKTWA) T S Wazir told reporters here.
Wazir, who led a strong protest demonstration for the second straight day here, accused the administration of forcing them on the roads and said we have kept our doors open for negotiations .
Besides the relief package for the drivers, cleaners and other allied workers of the transport industry badly affected by the lockdown, the association is demanding among other things a revision in passenger fare, freight charges to the extent of at least 50 per cent, waiving interest of the loans taken by transporters for vehicles and waiving insurance and other fees during the lockdown period besides withdrawing of toll plazas in J&K. The Jammu and Kashmir government increased the rate of tax on sale of petrol and diesel in the UT byRs 2 per litre and Rs 1 per litre, respectively. The new rates came into effect from June 1.
“When the Centre bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs, an assurance was given that all the benefits under UT status will be given but unfortunately nothing of the sort had happened so far. In other Uts transpoters do not pay passenger tax and there were also no toll plaza’s. We are being strangled here,” Wazir said.
The association went on a chain hunger strike near Tawi bridge here on Tuesday but were physically lifted by police citing violation of lockdown guidelines.

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