Ready to hold talks with private transporters who have called for Sept 11 bandh: Minister

Public TV English
Public TV English
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Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy addressing a press conference at the BMTC headquarters on Wednesday.

BENGALURU: With private transporters including autorickshaws and taxis threatening to go off the road on September 11 for fulfilment of their demands, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Wednesday said representatives of the unions which have called for the bandh are welcome to hold discussions with him. He also said steps will be taken to ensure that commuters including schoolchildren and officegoers are not inconvenienced on that day.

Addressing a press conference at the BMTC headquarters at Shantinagar here, he said, “The private transporters had decided to cal for a bandh in July, but I held talks with them and they had listed out 25-30 demands. I had assured them that I will resolve the issues that are within my capacities. When Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chaired a meeting, some of these unions skipped. Those who are organising the bandh had also been invited for the meeting”.

Ramalinga Reddy said the government will need Rs 354 crore to meet the demand of the transporters for Rs 20,000 monthly aid. As regards the demand for setting up a development corporation for the unorganised transport sector, he said the CM will take decision on it.

“The unions had sought loans on easy instalments and I have written to a few departments regarding this. A letter has also been written to the BBMP chief commissioner on setting up an Indira Canteen at the airport. Regarding mandatory permits for battery-run and electric vehicles, a letter has been sent to the Union government for review”, he added.

The minister further said that to fulfill the demand of Rs 10,000 aid to auto and taxi drivers, the government would need Rs 4,370.28 crore. In another 3-4 months, the government itself will come up with aggregator apps, he noted.

“Regarding the demand to scrap lifetime tax for transport vehicles and to continue with the quarterly tax, I have brought the issue to the notice of the CM. I have also written to the housing department on the demand for housing for dirvers. For supporting the education of the children of drivers, Rs 17 crore has been set aside against the Rs 4.07 crore given earlier”, Ramalinga Reddy said.

“As regards inclusion of private buses under the Shakti scheme, the CM decide as it has financial implications. The transporters have sought concessions on tax, but if we give it, other states will also have to do so. Where necessary, private transport vehicles can be taken on hire with payments per km, but the CM’s approval is needed. Steps have been taken to give special permits for taxis, maxicabs and contract vehicles, but the CM will have to take a decision on reducing tax for tourist and contract carriages”, he added.

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