Transporters in Kashmir reap rich during elections

December 11th, 2008 - 7:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Kathua (J-K), Dec 11 (ANI): The extended polls in Kashmir being held in seven phases have boosted the business of transporters whose vehicles are in great demand for election campaigning.
Transporters in Kathua district as elsewhere in Jammu and Kashmir are a happy lot with the demand for their vehicles having grown after almost two-months long slump due to the Amarnath shrine land row.
“Previously, our business was in a bad shape as our buses were stalled in the parking area for almost two months. But now because of elections our earnings have substantially improved. We are giving our buses to the campaigners on hire. The Government has also hired some of our buses,” said Bishmiter Dass, a transporter.
The accelerated demand for vehicles from political parties for carrying their supporters to election rallies has led to increase in hiring rates of vehicles to great comfort of transporters and transport workers.
“We faced a lot of problems for the past two months. Our families starved during that time. But now, our condition has improved for better and the credit goes to elections. Everyday, we send 40-50 buses for election rallies. We are very happy as our work has improved,” said Manjit Singh, a bus driver in Kathua.
Four of the seven-phased elections have already taken place with a decent voter turnout despite the election boycott call by the separatists.
Eleven assembly constituencies in the three districts of Pulwama, Shopian and Kathua will go to the polls on December 13 in the fifth phase of elections in the state.
The seven-phased polling in Jammu and Kashmir, which is to replace the Central rule imposed after a Congress party-led coalition government fell in July over a Amarnath shrine land transfer row, began on November 17 with the first phase of polling and will finish on December 24 with the last phase of polling. (ANI)

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