Assam cabs, tourists hit by curbs for third consecutive day

Transport workers federation urges states to restore normality  

Guwahati, Nov 24: Tourists and transport operators continued to bear the brunt of the tense situation in the wake of the Mukroh incident with restrictions imposed on Assam-registered vehicles for the third consecutive day and prevented from proceeding towards Meghalaya.

Several tourists were left stranded as Assam-registered taxis and cabs transporting them from the LGBI airport were halted at Jorabat and advised against proceeding towards Meghalaya as a precautionary measure amidst the prevailing tension.

Along with the police, paramilitary forces were also stationed along the inter-state border at Jorabat to ensure security and law and order in the area.

The All India Road Transport Workers Federation, Assam state committee, meanwhile, has expressed concern over the situation as truckers and transporters have been impacted by the restrictions.

“The Assam and Meghalaya governments need to resolve the matter at the earliest as the lives and livelihoods of the transporters and commercial vehicle drivers of Assam have been adversely affected during this peak season,” All India Road Transport Workers Federation (AIRTWF), Assam state committee general secretary Biren Sarma said.

The curbs have also affected supply of essential commodities, including edibles and perishable commodities that are ferried by road through Meghalaya to southern Assam’s Barak Valley, Mizoram, Tripura and even Manipur.

“The COVID situation in 2020-21 has already taken a toll on the transport sector and hundreds of vehicles that ply daily from Guwahati to Shillong. Just when it seemed that things were improving, an unfortunate incident along the inter-state border has now again impacted our operations. Therefore, we will tomorrow submit a memorandum to the chief minister requesting him to intervene and ensure that this difficult phase ends at the earliest,” Sarma said.

Meanwhile, while several tourists and vehicles of taxi associations are still stranded in various parts of Meghalaya, all the 10 vehicles under All Guwahati Tourist Taxi Drivers Union have been safely escorted to the city.

“These vehicles were stranded in Shillong, Cherrapunjee and Mawllynong and have been escorted to Guwahati. However, there are many vehicles of other associations that are stranded there,” said Gul Mohammad Khan, the secretary of All Guwahati Tourist Taxi Drivers Union.

Notably, Assam minister Jayanta Malla Baruah, while addressing mediapersons in New Delhi on Wednesday, informed that Assam police has been in touch with its counterparts in Meghalaya to ensure that stranded tourists/drivers in Meghalaya are given the necessary protection and brought back to the state safely.

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