Transporters, labourers protest in Samboora Pulwama
Srinagar: The load carrier drivers and labourers are up in arms against the Geology and Mining Department over their alleged failure to frame the proper policy for the workers.
The protestors said they were not allowed to work.
The protestors said that a few years ago, the government had set up a proper mechanism for them to work on a royalty basis.
“We are ready to pay royalty but despite that we aren’t being allowed to work,” one of the protestors said.
The drivers from different areas said that they have bought tippers, tractors and other vehicles on loans and they cannot repay the loans if they are not allowed to work.
“We cannot arrange EMIs to be paid to the banks and it will be impossible to meet both ends,” the protestors said.
The protestors said their families and livelihood was wholly dependent on their vehicles.
“But if we won’t work, how can we feed our families? We had decided to sell our vehicles but no one is willing to purchase these vehicles as transportation of minerals has virtually been made a crime,” they said.
They demanded that a proper mechanism should be in place so that they can carry minerals from one place to another and earn their livelihood.
“We are unable to carry minerals from one place to another and whenever we load minerals we are being caught, challaned or fined,” the protestors said, adding that it takes weeks to get their vehicles released from court.
They said that they are being fined Rs 50000 to 60000 and they earn the same amount in months together.
The protestors urged the J&K LG administration to look into the matter on humanitarian ground “so that the poor drivers won’t face such problems anymore.”
Meanwhile, an official said that the government has introduced e-challans and they can allow only those who carry minerals from legal sources.
“These people do not carry it from a legal source. They must approach the government to make it legal so that they can work,” he said.