Transporters being starved: NC

Srinagar: Alleging that transporters are being pushed to starvation due to lockdown, the National Conference (NC) on Saturday demanded waiver of electricity arrears in case of BPL and Antyodaya consumers in the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (UT).
In a statement, NC senior leader and Member Parliament Anantnag, Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi Saturday accused the J&K administration of gross negligence towards starvation like situation faced by the transporters and their families.
He said the transport industry in general and the passenger transport in particular already crippled by post August shutdown, has been adversely affected by over two month long Administrative lockdown ordered to combat COVID-19 crisis.

Masoodi has demanded a comprehensive rehabilitation package for transport industry and passenger transport in particular including interest waiver on the loans extended by the financial institutions to the transporters August 2019 onwards and a reasonable amount on monthly basis to compensate the loss of income suffered due to the lockdown and on account of mechanical breakdown.

Masoodi has questioned the wisdom of the Administration to order opening of the offices while continuing with ban on the movement of public transport within the city and to the districts. He has asked the Administration to take notice of immense difficulties faced by the employees in reporting to the offices with the public transport off the road. He has insisted on a holistic view of all the aspects while taking a major decision like opening of the offices and restoration of commercial activities.

Stating the recently announced amnesty scheme for the electricity consumers as inadequate, he has demanded that the entire electricity arrears and the current charges in case of BPL and Antyodaya consumers be waived and in case of rest of the consumers the arrears be directed to be recovered in at least six monthly installments.

He has reminded the Administration that 80 per cent of the electricity arrears are recoverable from the govt offices, public undertakings, central governments offices and big industrial houses and the Administration instead of taking steps to make the recoveries from the big defaulters should not use coercive measures against the downtrodden and disempowered segments of the society who are under tremendous economic stress because of loss of employment due to continued lockdown.

The statement adds that if Delhi government and some other state governments can provide electricity upto 200 units free of cost to the poorest of poor there is no reason for JK Administration not to give similar relief to the deprived and disempowered families below poverty line and at end of the queue.