Srinagar 24 February (KNB): After a day-long news circulation about the transport strike on 24 February, which was later postponed by the All Jammu and Kashmir Transporters Welfare Committee after meeting with the authorities in the late afternoon yesterday, left people’s plan haywire due to the strike’s sudden suspension.
The plans and decisions of the people were forced to change, and an uncertainty lingered among people in the wake of the transport strike call postponed by the Transport Association heads late afternoon after meeting with government officials last day.
“I had decided to go in my cousin’s car to the university today as strike call from transporters was going to be observed on Wednesday, but I had to change my plan in the evening when I heard that the strike was postponed. It caused a bit of disruption of my already decided plans for today,” said Muzamil, a student who regularly travels from Hyderpora to Dargah.
While talking with another commuter, who was a labourer, regarding the strike, he said: “It would have caused me a lot of problems. After working throughout the day and then no vehicle plying on the road in the late afternoon is very concerning for me when I have to travel back to my rented room.”
“I was thinking last day about the strike of transporters and my condition during it because no one gives people like me lift while I am on the road. I was contemplating how to manage back to my rented room because in the morning it is fine, but the evening hours leave me petrified,” he said.
However, another passenger who alighted from a government bus at the Batamaloo said that he came from Islamabad and did not face problems as transport was smoothly working but objected to the transport strike being postponed in the late afternoon yesterday when the next day’s plans were already decided.
Drivers’, Transport Agents’ Say
The hike in petrol and diesel, accompanied by the doubling of token tax, constant fare charges, and disposing of vehicles plying from 15 years, were responded to by most drivers against which they had decided to strike.
“We have demanded to reduce back on toll tax, increase in fare charges as the petrol and diesel prices are increasing day by day. That is why the transporters have called for a strike which has currently been postponed,” said a Tavera driver, Rafiq Ahmad.
The rickshaw driver, Sahil, at the Jehangir Chowk said that “the token tax has been raised from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 and the hike in petrol touching Rs 90/litre which is consuming our hard-earned money barely leaves anything for our other expenses. Such things should be given a look because we are suffering from it.”
While talking with the bus driver, he said it is not right what is being done with them. “Nothing is saved from the fares collected at the end of the day. Diesel price is hiking while fare charges are at constant rates.” He further said that the old vehicles are being told to be disposed of, which have been plying for 15 years, contrary to the earlier order of 25 years old vehicles to be done away with.
However, while talking to a transport agent Haji Farooq Ahmad, he said that the strike has been put off till noon today and may extend beyond it after the meeting was conducted yesterday late afternoon regarding the demands put forward to the authorities.
Moreover, after a meeting with concerned officials, on Wednesday afternoon, General Secretary, Kashmir Welfare Transporters Association claimed that the decision to call off the strike was taken after the government decided to increase fare by 19%. (KNB)