Disappointed with the state government’s assurance to examine the demand for addressing the sudden rise in fuel prices, a conglomeration of commercial vehicle drivers and owners associations have called for an indefinite strike from February 3.
A delegation of the Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles (MJACCV) on Monday met and submitted a memorandum before the Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong requesting the state government to address the issue.
The committee has demanded the state government to either reduce the prices of petrol and diesel or increase the passenger fares as a solution to the problem faced by commercial vehicles.
Expressing its disappointment over the outcome of the meeting, the committee has announced its decision to go for a statewide indefinite strike where all public commercial transportation including local taxis, tourist taxis and buses will stay off the road from February 3.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Tynsong said that the state government will examine the points raised by the committee in its memorandum.
“I will also ask the transport department to work out what is the best possible way to ease this sudden hike in prices of petrol and diesel,” he said.
Asked, the deputy chief minister said the situation is not only confined to Meghalaya alone but in the entire country.
Stating that the cell collected from petrol and diesel is for the education sector, he however said, “Therefore, I cannot just give any assurance as the matter has to be properly examined.”
Earlier, the chairman of the MJACCV Wandonbok Jyrwa told reporters that the delegation was not happy with the outcome of the meeting with the deputy chief minister since he could not give any assurances except to examine the demand put forth by the committee.
“Since he (Tynsong) did not give us any assurances, we are left with no option but to call for an indefinite strike from February 3,” he said while urging the commercial vehicle owners and drivers to cooperate with the decision of the committee.
The chairman also informed that during the inspection conducted to various petrol pumps, the committee found out that the reason for the hike in prices of petrol and diesel was due to the state government’s decision to impose about 31 percent of the tax on petrol.
“This excessive amount of tax imposed upon petrol will not only affect commercial vehicles but even those private vehicle owners and this in the future will affect all citizens as the price of essential goods will ultimately increase,” said Jyrwa.
According to him, the restriction imposed in the form of odd and even number has also to a great extent affected the commercial vehicles since there was no relief given by the state government like exempting them from paying tax for the period during the nationwide lockdown.