Public transporters’ 72-hour strike begins today; throws life out of gear

Zafar Aafaq

Srinagar

The 72-hour strike called by the transporters and supported by the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) which started today in the state has thrown life out of gear in valley and other parts of the state.

Due to the absence of public transport on roads the commuters are facing acute shortage of conveyance.

All means of public transport including buses, mini-buses, taxies, autos, tankers and trucks are off roads in wake of the strike call given by Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association.

Only private vehicles are visible on roads. A large number of commuters were seen walking by foot to reach to their destinations.

The transporters have called for a strike to press for their demands including withdrawal of yearly passenger welfare fund and rollback of hike in fitness fees and fees for other renewal of documents.

Transporters accuse the government of sidelining their “genuine” demands. Chairperson, All J&K Transport Welfare Association, Tarlochan Singh Wazir told press in Jammu that they approached the state government with their demands on several occasions but to no avail.

Javed Ahmad, a salesman who works at a shop in city centre Lal Chowk told Kashmir Life that he reached his shop late as he had to come on foot from Qamarwari.

Similarly, a reporter for local daily told Kashmir Life that he walked four kilometers by foot from Barzulla to reach his office at Press colony.

Reports emerging from other towns of the valley said that the attendance in government and private offices is sparse. An official at DC office Pulwama said that only those employees have come to office who have their own conveyance.

A resident of Handwara village said that he and his ailing mother walked on foot to hospital as no taxi was visible on the road.

Commuters at different bus stops were seen waiving hands at private vehicles for lift. Some got, some did not.

Motor cyclists who had halted their motor cycles and scooters in garages at home for winter had to drag them back on roads due to lack of public transport.

The State Road transport buses which are limited in number were seen plying on some routes of the city to shuttle commuters.

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