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Transport workers’ unions in Assam have announced a series of protests starting with a 24-hour chakka bandh on January 27 over various demands, including the implementation of a welfare scheme for private transport workers.
In the subsequent phase, groups have scheduled a 48-hour chakka bandh during the Assam Assembly session on February 12 and 13, read a joint statement by the unions on Monday.
The transport unions further threatened to intensify the agitation, threatening a 72-hour chakka bandh from February 25 to 27, if the Assam government fails to meet their demands.
The transport workers’ unions which have called the chakka bandh include the All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation, Sadou Asom Motor Shramik Jutiya Parishad, Co-ordination Committee of Cab Operators, Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union and North East Heavy Goods Driver, including the Owners Welfare Association.
“Till date, there is no government scheme for the welfare of the transport workers, which implies that the government is yet to acknowledge the service of motor transport workers. Transport workers are being harassed by new rules and regulations,” the statement said.
The transport unions further alleged that even after seven months of lockdown, the government did not deem fit to provide financial aid to the motor transport drivers and workers.
“The government is also not ready to waive off the tax of the transport vehicles,” the statement said.
“Passenger vehicles could not go to various states, including Meghalaya during the unlock period. Even after repeated requests and protests, the district administration has not set up a free COVID testing centre at Khanapara because of which tourist vehicles could not operate in states like Meghalaya,” it said.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)