Kashmir goods transporters today claimed that they are being harassed at different check points by sales and commercial tax officials from Punjab to Srinagar, and threatened that they will stop doing their business if the government does not address their issues. President J&K Goods Transport Companies Association, MS Ronga said in a press conference accused that Punjab sales tax department imposes unwanted hefty penalties on Srinagar-bound Kashmiri goods trucks at Madhavpore check post. “One transporter was recently fined Rs 50,000 for no fault of his. There is injustice meted out to the valley goods transporters at this check post but nobody is raising this grave issue with the authorities concerned,” he said. “These toll posts have been turned into money minting machines as mafia openly loot Kashmiri transports at these places on one and other pretext,” he said. “Commercial sales tax department on checking pretext harass Kashmiri transports and impose heavy fines on them. More than 80 per cent of Kashmir goods vehicle are halted for checking while as only 20 Jammu bound trucks go under this checking process,” Ronga alleged. He said that instead of recovering penalty from the traders, authorities compel poor drivers to pay it on the spot. Transports alleged that Kashmir drivers face difficulty of multiple checking on way to Srinagar from Jammu. “Besides Lakhanpur and Lower Munda toll posts, we are unnecessary harassed by the vigilance of Jammu as well as Srinagar and we are also halted to pay entry fee by the unknown people at the under construction post Transport Nagar Srinagar,” he said. Ronga said that despite taking issue with the government in the past no action was taken to put an end to these harassments being faced by the valley transporters. “These politicians are not bothered about the problem in Kashmir. These days they are playing hide and seek on government formation as they hardly remember people have voted them to make government and address their problems,” he said. Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation (KTMF) president, Mohammad Sadiq Baqal threatened to surrender their tin numbers and stop business incase authorities fail to stop harassing Kashmiri goods transporters, “Every black law is imposed on Kashmiris. In the name of checking these transporters are being looted at every toll post. Government must take serious note of this issue so that such malpractices are stopped,” said senior vice president Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Farooq Ahmad Dar. The transporters said that they would meet Punjab Chief Minister to apprise him about the harassment being faced by the valley transporters.
2015 Kashmir Despatch