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Govt hell-bent to ‘crush’ local transport sector in Kashmir: Transporters ‘Outside state vehicles with non-J&K permits plying freely in Valley

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The transport operators have decided to stage a protest on Thursday to attract the attention of the government towards their ‘genuine’ demands.

The protest will be held under the banner of ‘All Kashmir Transport Welfare Association.’

While talking to the news agency Kashmir News Trust, the General Secretary, Jammu Kashmir Transport Welfare Association, Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf said that the government is hell-bent to destroy the transport sector in Jammu and Kashmir. He alleged that despite bringing to the notice of the government repeatedly, the genuine demands were not addressed.

He said every association from the transport sector including buses, mini-buses, Tata Sumos, Tavera and Auto Rickshwas will participate on Thursday’s protest that will be held at Parimpora Transport yard.

“We are not against the operation of SRTC buses, e-rickshaws but only want they should operate under the prescribed rules,” Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf said adding that the transport industry is on the brink of destruction in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is irony that vehicles from outside states having Gujurat, Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab, and Rajasthan permits are freely plying in Kashmir and local transporters are sitting idle. No authority is restricting them,” he said adding that nowhere in any state of India a vehicle with a J&K permit is allowed to ferry passengers but in Kashmir, this happens on a daily basis.

He further said that the government has been given an exemption to SRTC buses who in violation of the court orders ply beyond Parimpora and follow no rules and timetable. “Similarly, e-rickshaws ply everywhere and even on routes assigned to us. Government has notified routes for e-rickshaws but they ply on routes meant for us,” he said.

“We have paid tax in billions and yet get the stepmotherly treatment from the government. Now government is mulling to run Tata buses on PoP mode in which 80% share will go to the private company. This is an attempt to break the back of local transporters of Kashmir,” Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf said and appealed to all transporters to be part of the protest on Thursday. [KNT]

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