Pvt transporters call off strike as govt okays 14 pc fare hike

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Jammu, Jun 12 (UNI) Private transport operators in Jammu and Kashmir today called off their indefinite strike on the fourth day of ''chakka jam'', after the government agreed to hike transport fare structure by 14 per cent.

''We have accepted the government's proposal of 14 per cent increase in transport fare at a meeting in the summer capital city of Srinagar this afternoon,'' Jammu and Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association (JKTWA) chairman T S Wazir told UNI.

''All the private transport vehicles will resume operations as we have called off our agitation,'' he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Transport Minister Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, after a meeting with transporters, announced that government had agreed on 14 per cent increase in transport fare.

Talking to reporters at Srinagar, he said the transporters were demanding 40 per cent increase in the fare following increase in the petroleum products.

However, after several rounds of negotiation, it was agreed to increase the fare by 14 per cent, he said, adding that an agreement to this effect was signed with the striking transporters.

The leaders of striking transporters were also present at the press conference.

Mr Hakeem said the government had agreed to increase the fare keeping in view the tourist season and annual Amarnath pilgrimage.

The tourists and pilgrims of Vaishnodevi were the worst hit due to strike.

About 75,000 private transporter vehicles had come to grinding halt in the entire state on June 9 to protest against government's apathetic attitude towards their demand of fare hike, despite recent increase in petroleum products.

Thousands of Vaishnodevi pilgrims, other tourists and working people were stranded at various places between Jammu and Srinagar.

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