Assam: Owners, workers stage protest against govt's new SOP
The Upper Assam Bus Owners' Association (UABOA) and Sivasagar District Transport Workers' Union, on Wednesday, staged a demonstration near the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) bus terminus in Sivasagar against the state government's latest Covid-19 SOP that restricts the inter-district movement of passenger vehicles in the state.
Sivasagar District Transport Workers' Union leader, Haider Hussain said that by disallowing public vehicles in inter-district operations, the new directive has further aggravated the already indigent condition of the bus owners and their employees who have been struggling to survive in these pandemic times.
"Since the services of passenger vehicles have been halted, for the last 3 months, there has been no income. Not just the bus owners, but drivers, conductors, and other employees are going through an acute economic crisis. The transport employees are on the verge of committing suicide," Hussain said.
Echoing similar sentiments, a member of the Upper Assam Bus Owners' Association said, "There has been no assistance from the government in this regard. Despite having no income, we have to pay salaries to our staff, pay road taxes, and fend for our families. And making things worse, the banks are pressurising the bus owners, who have purchased their vehicles on loan, to pay EMIs. Under the present circumstances, the bus owners will have no option but to sell off their vehicles."
Earlier on Tuesday, the government had lifted the restriction on inter-district movement for private vehicles, whereas no such exemptions were made for passenger vehicles, compelling the unions to voice their concern on the matter.
(Edited by Shankar Turha)
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