Passenger transport operators struck work throughout Jammu and Kashmir on Monday protesting increase in taxes, rise in fuel prices, stringent laws against road accidents and lack of facilities at bus and taxi stands Srinagar.
All passenger transport vehicles, including buses, mini-buses, taxis, and three-wheelers, remained off the roads in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region as transport operators announced complete wheel jam to protest what they alleged high-handedness of the authorities.
"There has been a tax increase of 100% in passenger taxes, fuel prices have risen, and we have remained without any work for over five months during the trouble in the valley," said Haji Bashir Ahmad Math, president of the Kashmir Transporters' Welfare Association in Kashmir.
"The authorities have decided to book drivers under harsher laws in case of road accidents. There are no sanitary, medical and other facilities at the hundreds of bus stands and taxi stands in the state. The government has turned a complete blind eye to our plight."
The transport operators are demanding increase in fares, reduction in taxes, exemption from passenger tax for the period the valley remained shut due to the unrest during the summer months and revocation of the decision to book drivers under harsher laws after road accidents.
"The transporters have already been allowed a fare hike to compensate the tax increase. There is no justification for the present strike," said an official of the passenger tax department Srinagar.
There was no public transport anywhere in the valley because of the transporters' strike as all buses, mini-buses, taxis and three-wheelers remained off the roads.
Most office-goers could not reach their places of work as inter-district connectivity was severely affected by the strike in the entire state.