Hyderabad: Leading travel operators of Telangana State held ‘shirtless protest’ at Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Headquarters, Khairtabad here on Monday demanding waiver of Motor Vehicle Tax for the lockdown period.
Led by Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) President Syed Nizamddin, JAC members K. Gopal Reddy and KM. Govind Raj, the travel operators first met the RTA Commissioner at his office seeking the status of several representations submitted to him and the Principal Secretary of the Transport Department in the last one month.
“The TSCBOA is the representative body of nearly 3,000 big, medium and small travel operators in Telangana State. Our industry contributes nearly Rs. 2,500 crore to the State’s economy every year and it employs nearly 5-6 lakh people.
It is highly unfortunate that the State Government was not mistreating our industry and not willing to address the problems being faced by travel operators. We have requested the government for exemption of Motor Vehicle Tax for Contract Cordage Vehicles and Maxi Cabs for the 2nd Quarter April-June 2020 and permission to surrender for Non-Use for 3rd Qtr July-Sep of the current financial year. Despite several representations made by us, we got literally no response from the authorities,” he said.
Nizamuddin said that the operators had several meetings with the Principal Secretary and the RTA Commissioner. However, they kept on dragging the issue. On Monday, the officials told us that they were helpless and asked us to approach Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to get the issue resolved.
“Everyone knows that the Chief Minister is completely inaccessible and does not meet anyone from the general public. This means that our problem will not get resolved. The State Government cannot be so non-responsive to the needs of the travel industry,” he said.
Irked by the lack of response to their repeated pleas for relief, the members of TSCBOA staged a protest at the RTA office by taking out their shirts. They raised slogans against the State Government’s attitude and lack of response to their problems. They were taken into custody by the police and shifted to Goshamahal Stadium.
Nizamuddin said that the entire travel industry of Telangana would collapse if the State Government fails to provide it required relief. He said that the travel operators would continue their agitation until their problems get resolved. (INN)