Coronavirus Lockdown: Job Change; Need of an hour for Transporters

Coronavirus Lockdown: Job Change; Need of an hour for Transporters

Srinagar: The Valley based public transporters has changed their profession due to the financial burden that had taken toll on their daily lives amid the ongoing lockdown in the Valley.
The Covid-19 lockdown which has been implemented in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus in Valley has left most of the drivers and conductors in hard times to make the ends meet.
Even after some ease out of restrictions across the Valley the public transport remains off the roads which includes private buses, tempos, and cabs.
The drivers and conductors with meagre savings are staring at an uncertain future while as most of them has switched to other jobs.
Most of the drivers and conductors belong to the lower income groups and have faced most of the worst times in the past one year whether it was an uneasy calm post abrogation of Article 370 or the ongoing restrictions which has been implemented in order to contain the spread of Covid-19.
We are in a desperate situation as we are running out of stocks, savings and are on verge of starvation if no immediate step is taken by the JK UT administration over the settlement of our issue.” said Sameer Bhat, a cab driver based in Srinagar
He said that transporters are treated as second class citizens by the administration, which is merely passing orders without pondering upon the losses that could result from permitting only fifty percent of commuters on daily basis.
He further added, “I have started selling fruits on the roadside and nowadays I am using my vehicle for transporting fruits from one place to another only because of lack of response and non-serious approach from our Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration.”
Earlier, the private transporters demanded permission to operate passenger vehicles and a relief package to compensate the financial crisis faced by them due to the lockdown.
Similarly, On June 02 the Jammu based transporters protested in the Jammu region, in which they demanded the resume of operations and also a two-day ultimatum was given to the UT administration after which they threatened to stop all the essential services including tanker and truck services. The protesters were later detained and released after a few hours.
Its pertinent to mention that as per the new guidelines on the lockdown 5.0, the public passenger transport including buses, tempos travellers, cab aggregators, auto rickshaws, etc. were allowed to operate but with only 50% passengers.
“We want the administration to announce an increase in the passenger fare as it will be surely a loss for us if we operate with only fifty percent of commuters with the same fare.” said Nazir Ahmad Khan a bus driver based in Srinagar.
He also said that they request the concerned authorities to review the orders which were passed recently by the competent authorities in order to rescue the transport fraternity from this tormenting times. (Kashmir Glacier)

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