TUESDAY WILL prove to be tough for commuters due to the the state-wide chakka jam called by the transporters. Autorickshaws, trucks, buses, tempo operators and RTO agents will keep off roads in protest against the recent hikes in transport fees effected by the government.
The Centre has hiked 60 different types of licence fees by a notification sent out in December amending the structure. After the hike, the transporters will have to shell out extra money for driving licences, vehicle registration, fitness renewal and permit authorisation. Bus, truck and taxi owners will have to pay Rs 10,000 to renew their all-India permit authentication, which earlier cost Rs 500. They will have to shell out Rs 7,500 for a duplicate set of papers. A licence for opening a motor training school will now come at Rs 10,000 than the earlier sum of Rs 250.
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Nitin Pawar of Riksha Panchayat said, “We demand a complete and unconditional reversal of this decision. There are three different authorities for us. The state government has its own rules and fees, the Centre also charges various fees and there is also the Regional Transport Authority. Why should we face all of them separately? If they all want revenue from us, they should share it from the state government. There is no reason why should the Centre charge different licence fees? We demand that they bring uniformity in this issue and make it convenient for the transporters.”
Baba Shinde of truck operators association said, “The decision is a tough one for the transport operators who are already under financial stress. The economic slowdown has already caused big problems for us.
This fee hike will increase all other rates ultimately causing burden to the citizens. We are ready to accept five to ten per cent hike but the government has hiked licence fee to the tune of 10 to 50 times.” There was no clarity among the participating unions about whether app-based taxi pool operators like Ola, Uber will be taking part in the chakka jam protest. A spokesperson of Uber stated that their drivers will not be participating in the protest and the app-based services will be freely available.