After ten days of agitation, still no fruitful result as the stand-off between the Meghalaya government and the taxi drivers continues. Taking agitation at the next level the commercial vehicles have threatened to go for an indefinite hunger strike if the state government chose to turn a deaf ear on the demand for reducing the prices of petrol and diesel in the state.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicle (MJACCV) held at the Anjalee parking lot on Saturday.
A 48-hour statewide agitation was also announced to be held on February 15.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the JAC Wandonbok Jyrwa told reporters after the meeting, “If the government continues to be adamant in its attitude even after February 15, we will have no other option but to go for an indefinite hunger strike in front of the secretariat.”
In view of the indefinite strike, the commercial vehicles have remained off the road from February 3, to protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices.
He said despite the peaceful protest, the state government has failed to comply with the demands.
“We say that the government should immediately reduce the prices of petrol and diesel as this would eventually address the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, which has affected the common man to a larger extent,” Jyrwa said.
“Our demand is never for hiking the passenger fare but for revising the passenger fare in case the government is hesitant to reduce the petrol and diesel prices. Apart from this, we also want 50 percent reduction in the vehicle taxes during the COVID-19 lockdown period,” he added.
Asked, the chairman said the commercial vehicles are ready to operate as private vehicles if the government decided to cancel their permits.
President of the All Tourist Drivers Association (ATDA), Dinesh Kumar Shah said that the tourist taxis, going to Garo Hills, are facing huge problems as the government is asking them to take the passenger fare charged before lockdown.
“This is very unfair in view of the rising prices of petrol and diesel besides passenger tax and other taxes keep on increasing every year. Therefore, we urge the government to listen to our demand as we are not demanding for the moon or the stars, we only want you to understand that we also want to serve the people of the state,” Shah said.