Transporters’ strike jams life in Kashmir

June 9th, 2008 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 9 (IANS) Public transport stayed off the roads and offices and educational institutions reported thin attendance Monday as a four-day strike against the hike in fuel prices brought life to a standstill across Kashmir Valley. The strike, called by the All Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association to protest last week’s hike in the prices of fuel, saw buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws remaining off the roads and long lines of commuters in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital.

The non-availability of public transport resulted in marginal attendance in schools and colleges as well as offices.

The administration tried to meet the challenge by mobilising buses of its State Road Transport Corporation. However, reports from other parts of the valley, including Anantnag, Pulwama, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara and Ganderbal districts, also indicated that the strike had thrown life out of gear.

“Transport fares have not been revised here since 2005 while oil prices have increased manifold during this period. This has put us under tremendous pressure as we are incurring continuous losses,” said Bashir Ahmad Matt, chairperson of the transporters’ association.

The local traders’ federation has also decided to join the transporters strike on June 11 to show solidarity with them.

The central government last week hiked the prices of petrol by Rs.5 a litre, diesel by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.50 per cylinder.

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