SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader and former minister Mohammad Dilawar Mir on Monday expressed serious concern over the plight of transporters whose livelihood has been worst hit since August last year.

In a statement issued here, Mir demanded a special financial package for the rehabilitation and revival of the transport industry including its allied sectors in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the government should also go for interest subvention and the banks should not insist for repayment of loans from this sector for the time being.

“The viability of the transport industry particularly the public transport sector has come to a standstill since August 2019 in J&K. Last two months of the COVID lockdown has also added to the sufferings of this sector to an extent that people associated with this industry are not in a position to feed their families. So the government must come forward and provide them succour at this difficult time,” the JKAP leader observed.

Mir said the vehicles of transporters are lying almost idle since the last 10 months in both divisions of Jammu and Kashmir and the government should respond compassionately to the demands put forth by the representatives of this vital industry.

“A relief package for the sector including the resumption of commercial transportation and a genuine fare hike in the wake of fuel prices and COVID-19 pandemic should be considered. Their demands should be accorded a positive consideration also because of huge losses suffered by them due to prevailing lockdown,” Mir said, adding that the public transport should be allowed while maintaining the COVID protocol.

The JKAP leader remarked that till the transport industry resumes its activities completely, the government should extend monthly financial assistance to the drivers, conductors and other allied workers of the transport industry besides waiving off interest on the loans taken by transporters and other fees during the lockdown period.

“Since the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) fleet is already operating in addition to the air and train services which have resumed their services partially, the private-public transport and goods carriers in J&K should be also allowed to operate with the same conditions,” he Mir pleaded.

The JKAP leader said that the people associated with the transport industry especially drivers and conductors are not in a position to run their day-to-day family affairs because of the lockdown, their condition is fast turning into human catastrophe.

“The JKAP appeals to Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu to address this issue on humanitarian grounds and order some monthly financial assistance for the daily rated workers associated with the transport sector,” Mir demanded.


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