- All private buses, trucks and taxis will remain off the road from 5 am tomorrow
- Taxis run by Uber and Ola are also likely to be following the bandh as All Cab Operators’ Union also extended their support
Guwahati: All Assam Motor Workers’ Joint Council has extended their support to the 24-hour nationwide chakka bandh called by All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation today.
The council said all private buses, trucks and taxis will remain off the road from 5 am tomorrow in protest against the Centre’s move to pass the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2016, and amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, without provisions for the transport workers’ welfare.
According to sources, the unions have been demanding pension, medical benefits for their families, financial aid for the education of their children and providing training to drivers and helpers of the vehicles. They are also demanding a rollback of the increase in third-party insurance premium, vehicle registration fee, including renewal fees for permits, fitness certificate and licence imposed by the regional transport offices in different states as envisaged in the transport bill.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has also proposed stringent punishment and hefty fines for violation of road traffic rules. These stiff provisions will ensure compliance with the law but there are no corresponding welfare benefits for the transport workers, complained the unions.
Taxis run by Uber and Ola are also likely to be following the bandh as All Cab Operators’ Union also extended their support. They are opposing deduction of 26 percent of the income of the cab drivers by Ola and Uber, besides other “harassment.”
Biren Sarma, general secretary of the All India Road Transport Workers Federation, said, that the transport sector is important for the development of the state as we carry raw materials to the factories and finished goods to the market. The petroleum carriers carry fuel for trains, planes and factories. If we stop work, all activities will be paralysed.
We don’t want to do it but have been forced to protest for our rights and privileges. Every government since 1990 have been promising to reform this sector but nothing has been done to bring our workers under the ambit of the welfare schemes announced either by Delhi or Dispur, he added.