Transporters in Kashmir threaten wheel-jam

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Srinagar—The Kashmir-based transporters Sunday threatened wheel-jam strike in Kashmir alleging that they are being harassed at various check points from East Punjab to Srinagar.
“If the harassment against the transporters won’t stop, we will go on indefinite strike,” the transporters said.
Chairman, All Goods Transport Companies – a constituent of KEA, M S Ronga at a press conference here said: “There is an attempt by the centre to crush Kashmir economy.”
Accusing the mainstream politicians of pushing people to “uncertainty” by their “unclear stand” on government formation, he said: “If the elected representatives won’t fight for the electorate, then the whole electoral process is a big sham.”
“The politicians are ambivalent or at least they feign to be so. Till yesterday they were bedfellows. Now in order to gain political mileage and to get extra ministerial berths for their respective parties, the entire state has been put into uncertainty.
This clearly shows how selfish these politicians are and how least bothered they are about the suffering masses and business community,”
The transporters association was accompanied by representatives of various traders’ bodies including the senior vice chairman of KEA, Farooq Dar and acting President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Bashir Ahmad Rather.
“Kashmiri goods transporters are being unnecessarily harassed by the authorities on pretext of checking at different places on the highway from Punjab to Srinagar,” he said and accused that
Punjab’s Sales Tax department is now also imposing penalties on Kashmir bound trucks which is unconstitutional as the only concerned state can collect taxes.
“Recently one transporter was fined Rs 50,000 for no fault. This is sheer injustice, when in every other part of country efforts are being made to ease doing of business, in Kashmir it’s opposite,” he added.
The transporters alleged that they also face harassment at Lakhnpur and Lower Munda toll posts in Jammu.
“Commercial sales tax department on checking pretext harass Kashmiri transports and impose heavy fines. More than 80 per cent of Kashmir goods vehicle are halted for checking while as only 20 Jammu bound trucks go under this checking process,” Ronga alleged.
He said that instead of recovering penalty amount from the trader’s directly, authorities compel poor drivers to pay it on the spot.—GK

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