JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress has extended its full support to chakka Jaam strike of Jammu and Kashmir Transport Union’s call (JKTU) for Jammu bandh on March 30 for resolution to their long pending demands.
In a meeting which was attended by senior leaders G.M Saroori, Manohar Lal Sharma,Jugal Kishor Sharma,Naresh Gupta Gourav Chopra Corportor Ashwani Handa,Jai Singh Anil Kahli,Hoshiar Singh,Brinder Singh and Nimranjeet, the Congress leaders unanimously supported the cause of agitating transporters and said that despite several representations to the J&K Administration and even to the LG and Chief Secretary, the officers at the helm of affairs have remained unmoved and un-concerned over the issues of the transporters who faced worst situation during Covid lock down and also during lockdown that followed after abrogation of Article 370 and division of J&K into two UTs.
He said while several Governments in other states gave concessions to the transporters whose vehicles remained non-operational for months together but J&K Administration provided no relief to the transporters. The recent orders of the Transport Department to force transporters to deposit passenger tax and other pending taxes has shocked the transporters. Despite assurances by the officers at the helm of affairs nothing has been done for them.
Majority of the transporters are not in position to pay their bank instalments and pending dues to make their vehicles operational. The goods carrier operators and bus operators despite adverse situation during COVID lock down, fully cooperated with the Government in ensuring supplies to the various areas and carried stranded people.
They worked hard at the cost of their health but these poor people were never compensated for the job. Many public transport vehicles remained non-operational for about two years, but the Department is demanding tax of that period also which is very unfair and unjustified.
Now, as per new order all the commercial vehicles are being phased out after 20 years in Jammu and Srinagar. The Transport Department has also issued order for installing vehicle tracking devices in all commercial vehicles, which is against the Circular instructions issued by the MORTH. Yet another order has been issued by the department to launch intensive drive to collect Passenger tax and mentioning that route permit of vehicles will not be renewed until they pay passenger tax. The transporters are not in position to pay all the pending taxes. Some relief may be provided to them and time period of lock down be exempted.