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Drivers react strongly to govt’s denial on ban of diesel autos

IMPHAL | May 15 : General Secretary of Joint Administrative Council of All Manipur under Five Tonne Passenger Service, Loukrakpam Shashikanta Singh said the statement made by the chief minister and director of transport is baseless and humiliation to the diesel passenger service.

Speaking to media persons during a press conference, he said that the seven agitators who were arrested yesterday must be released immediately without any conditions.

Shashikanta said, “We know that the government did not issue any official order to ban our service, but it has been discussed. The state will ban us anytime as they have already discussed and made decisions. Our appeal is to give some time before banning our service and withdraw the decision.”

If the police can confine seven agitators in their custody against the cease work strike called by the drivers, then they should arrest those cease work strikers demanding implementation of 7th pay commission. “Why those employees are not dismissed from their respective post?” he demanded.

Shashikanta alleged that on April 25, chairman of Traffic Regulation and Parking Committee (TRPC), Nongthombam Biren and the its staff resolved to ban diesel passenger service under five ton from entering the city and to shift them at two to three radius kilometres beyond the city. And the committee also resolved to sanction Rs. 73 crore to buy state buses and electronic rickshaws to replace diesel auto, tata magic and winger service, he added.

The resolution was made to bring a clash between the electronic rickshaw services and the diesel passenger services, he further alleged. He condemned the resolution of TRPC, and demanded that the state should bring an alternative solution instead of banning the said diesel service from the city areas.

Demanding that the resolution taken by TRPC must be reconsidered, all Manipur under five ton passenger service drivers started protesting by putting black flags on their vehicles and by stopping passenger services at various route under area wise, said Shashikanta.

With the government’s failure to give any positive responses, the JAC continued their protests with two day’s cease work which will be concluded at the midnight today. He appealed the state to reconsider the resolution, and that the JAC will stand firm against the resolution of TRPC until a vehicle conversion policy is implemented.

Shashikanta said various agitations will continue until the state gives a positive response and an alternative solution for the welfare of the drivers is found.

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