Transporters go on strike in Jammu


In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, private transporters in Jammu have gone on an indefinite strike to protest against the authorities’ order capping the seating capacity to 50 per cent in public transport vehicles in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new guidelines, which also include restrictions on opening of shops at market places and malls, came into effect on Wednesday morning.
Protesting against the order, the transporters launched a strike to press for hiking of fares. Most private buses, mini-buses and cab operators suspended work in response to the strike call given by the Jammu and Kashmir Transporters Welfare Forum (TWF).
TWF President, TS Wazir, in an interview said the authorities have taken a decision without consulting them. “It is not feasible for transporters to ply their vehicles with 50 per cent passengers on board. The fuel prices are skyrocketing and the transporters are the hardest hit since the outbreak of the pandemic,” they said.
Meanwhile, policemen were also seen patrolling main markets in the city to enforce the government order to keep 50 per cent of the shops closed. Among the new Covid-19 control measures announced on Tuesday, the authorities announced imposition of night curfew across the occupied territory.
On the other hand, Valley’s trade bodies have said that the decision of closing the 50% markets to contain the recent COVID-19 spike will dent an already fledgling economy of the occupied territory.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Khan, said the authorities didn’t take stakeholders into confidence for such a harsh decision. He said there is a constant influx of transporters, tourists and labourers from outside the IIOJK without any proper testing.
Kashmir Trade Alliance President, Aijaz Shahdar, also expressed disappointment over the decision and termed it “painful” for trade bodies.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) former President, Sheikh Aashiq, expressed surprise over the move and said curfew-like restriction will not serve any purpose.