|Jammu, Nov 19: Normal life was paralysed in Jammu and Kashmir majority of passenger vehicles were off the road today in response to 'Chakka Jaam' call given by All J&K Passenger Transporter Welfare Association's (AJKTWA) demanding for fare hike. |
There was no passenger vehicle on the road since morning in Jammu and people were seen walking on foot here and there while many were looking for a lift to reach their destinations. Attendance in schools, colleges and offices were very less in absence of most popular transport of Jammu i.e. mini buses. Though state government has pressed SRTC buses into service of commuters and for the convenience of Vaishno Devi pilgrims but all turned just as a drop in the ocean. While some were opting lift others preferred the horse cart ride feeling backing the clock round to old days. AJKTWA has given one day call for strike in the state to demand 30% hike in the passenger fare in the state. The transporters have also protested against the government in different parts of the state. "There was a complete Chakka Jam in three regions of the state, It was a one day token strike to highlight our demands to the government," said Anil Chopra, Sr Vice President AJKTWA. "Government has increased around Rs.9 in diesel price after the last increase in the passenger's fare, now we cannot afford to run the vehicle on the same fare," he added. AJKTWA has given a week's time now to finalise the fare hike, and they are hopeful that the government will come forward with a solution. Meanwhile official sources said that state Government has made a fare standing committee under the chairmanship of finance commissioner and the committee has submitted their report to the government but the decision of the cabinet is still awaited.vNot only is the prospect of hike in fares worrying people in the state, the non-availability of passengers' transport today was a major source of trouble for them too. A university students said that she has to request her father to get leave from his office as she has submit her assignment today, so that he (her father) can drop her at university from Akhnoor. Majority of Jammuites are worried about the fare hike and expressing concerns over the issue Vishal Bali said, "I don't know how much they will increase, but it will hit our budget once again." "The hike in the price of diesel and LPG has left the common man with no option, I don't know how the common people will survive in this scenario" he added.