Indefinite motor transport strike in Assam

Indefinite motor transport strike in Assam
Vehicles parked at a bus terminus during the indefinite Chaka Bandh called by All Assam Motor Transport Association demanding for the increase in bus fare and tax relaxations in the view of the COVID-19 pandemic in Guwahati on Monday. (PTI)

Guwahati:

Assam Motor Transport Association, the apex organisation of all public transport vehicle operators in Assam, has called an indefinite state-wide strike from October 5.

The association maintained that it had to launch the agitation owing to non-fulfilment of its demand for road tax waiver and fare hike amid the pandemic.

“We are bound to call the strike because there has been no response to our demands from the State Transport Department since the last meeting on August 26, 2020. The department had then assured to make it economically viable for us to serve the people in the middle of a pandemic,” the Association’s President, Ratul Sarma, said on Sunday.

All kinds of goods vehicles as well as passenger vehicles, including buses, maxi cabs, tempos, taxis and auto-rickshaws, come under the definition of public transport vehicles.

Road tax is levied on every motor vehicle operated in the State under the Assam Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1936. However, if vehicles remain off the road for more than 30 days, then the rules allow a tax waiver.

Many states had periodically waived the road tax during the lockdown because of vehicles remaining off the roads for more than 30 days.

“We had asked the government for a similar tax waiver for at least two to three quarters in the absence of a special COVID package. While the plea has fallen on deaf ears, we are made to pay the entire road tax despite the protocols permitting us to carry only 50 per cent (vehicle seat capacity) passengers. This has not only hit us hard economically but made our operations unviable,” Sarma said.

He recalled that the notification on fare hike issued by the department in September last year too did not fulfil the increase sought by the association.

Guwahati:

Assam Motor Transport Association, the apex organisation of all public transport vehicle operators in Assam, has called an indefinite state-wide strike from October 5.

The association maintained that it had to launch the agitation owing to non-fulfilment of its demand for road tax waiver and fare hike amid the pandemic.

“We are bound to call the strike because there has been no response to our demands from the State Transport Department since the last meeting on August 26, 2020. The department had then assured to make it economically viable for us to serve the people in the middle of a pandemic,” the Association’s President, Ratul Sarma, said on Sunday.

All kinds of goods vehicles as well as passenger vehicles, including buses, maxi cabs, tempos, taxis and auto-rickshaws, come under the definition of public transport vehicles.

Road tax is levied on every motor vehicle operated in the State under the Assam Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1936. However, if vehicles remain off the road for more than 30 days, then the rules allow a tax waiver.

Many states had periodically waived the road tax during the lockdown because of vehicles remaining off the roads for more than 30 days.

“We had asked the government for a similar tax waiver for at least two to three quarters in the absence of a special COVID package. While the plea has fallen on deaf ears, we are made to pay the entire road tax despite the protocols permitting us to carry only 50 per cent (vehicle seat capacity) passengers. This has not only hit us hard economically but made our operations unviable,” Sarma said.

He recalled that the notification on fare hike issued by the department in September last year too did not fulfil the increase sought by the association.

Related Stories

The Northeast Today
thenortheasttoday.com