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Commuters suffer as public transport observes strike

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Jamshedpur: Commuters had to face a harrowing time on the road as public transport in the city remained off the road due strike in protest against parking fees.

The indefinite stir which began this morning to protest East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal’s orders to charge parking fees with the auctioning of parking stands came to an end after assurance of the deputy commissioner.

Members of both Sikshit Berozgar Tempo Chalak Sangh (an outfit of auto-rickshaw operators) and Shikshit Berozgar Mini Bus Association (an outfit of private bus operators) – the outfits which called the indefinite stir– today held a rally at Aambagan ground in Sakchi and marched to the district collectorate in form of a rally and held demonstration till 2 pm prior to meeting the deputy commissioner.

“We strongly protest the move of the administration. It is a matter of great concern. Most of the auto-rickshaw drivers are literate but jobless youths hailing from lower income group or poor background and have been in this profession to earn their livelihood.

They have purchased diesel auto taking loans from different nationalized banks and most of them are still repaying loan installment. Such notifications are pushing them to poverty and desperation,” said the official.

Auto drivers agitating near the Sakchi turnaround in protest against decision to take parking fees. “The government too has failed to provide us employment and now they are making life difficult for us with such draconian rules. Pushed to the corner these youths might eventually take to anti-social activities to sustain their family and the government would be held responsible for this state of affairs,” he said.

Worst sufferers were the school goers and daily wage earners as they could be seen standing on road sides terminus and had to take help of other modes (manual rickshaws) or walk to their homes.

Almost majority of the 20,000 auto-rickshaws went off the road while all the mini buses (around 130) remain stranded on the bus terminus.

Last month, the Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) had completed auctioning two parking stands for autos in Bistupur – at Diagonal Road and in front of Kamani Centre and had proposed auction of parking stands for autos in Sakchi and private bus stand near Sakchi Jama Masjid roundabout.

“We are not in favour of the steps being taken by the administration. We had met East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal and expressed our concerns about auctioning of the Sakchi bus stand as it would lead to additional financial burden by paying parking fees to the contractor in the bus stand.

We are protesting against the move of administration,” said Sanjiv Singh, a functionary of Shikshit Berozgar Mini Bus Association (SBMBA)- an outfit of private town bus operators.

Over 120 private town buses ply on 14 routes criss-crossing the city and its outskirts from Sakchi bus stand carrying more than a lakh passengers daily.

A few travel to the adjoining industrial belt of Adityapur, Gamharia and Kandra in neighbouring Seraikela-Kharsawan district.

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