TODAY -

Illegal tax collection irks drivers, AITUC
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 04 2015: Stating that collection of illegal taxes at permanent and mobile check posts by police along National Highways have risen beyond the limits of tolerance, the All Manipur Road Transport and Motor Workers Union (AMRTMWU) and All India Trade Union Council (AITUC), Manipur State Committee have threatened to launch intense agitation if the unethical practice of police posted along National Highways is not checked immediately.

Speaking to media persons at their MG Avenue office today, AMRTMWU general secretary H Kullamani said that mobile and permanent police check posts have been collecting illegal taxes from every commercial vehicle plying on National Highways.

Between Koirengei and Mao, police have been collecting Rs 400 from each and every commercial vehicle at every check post.

Asking whether police personnel post along the highway have been authorised to collect money from transporters on regular basis at the rate fixed on their own whim, Kullamani said that police personnel have been posted at Sekmai, Sapermeina, Kangpokpi, Senapati, Tadubi and Mao.

At all these places, VDF personnel led by SIs have been collecting illegal taxes from all commercial vehicles.

This unethical practice of Manipur police is a matter of shame for all the people of Manipur in front of transporters coming from Assam and other States.

The number of check posts have multiplied at a dramatic rate during the past couple of years.

The matter demands immediate intervention of the Home Minister, the DGP and SPs concerned, Kullamani said.

Starting from Koirengei, IRB and VDF personnel have been posted at different points along Imphal-Mao highway.

They have been acting as if they have been posted there to collect money from commercial vehicles.

Transporters do not have any tendency to call bandhs or blockades under any circumstances but the way police and security personnel have been exacting money on daily basis is simply intolerable.

As for the Imphal-Jiribam highway, the highway is all dust just beyond Makru if one is travelling from Imphal.

If there is rainfall, the highway turns into marshy land full of mud, said the general secretary.

Urging the authorities concerned to repair Imphal-Jiribam highway at the earliest, Kullamani said that journeys which should be covered within 3/4 hours are taking 7/8 hours because of the deplorable condition of highways and unwarranted collection of illegal taxes by State forces.

AITUC Manipur State Committee general secretary L Sotinkumar said that different unions, associations, federations and mass fronts jointly observed Nation-wide Protest Day on December 5 at Delhi against the incumbent Central Government's neo-liberal policy characterised by disinvestment, privatization, libera- lization, outsourcing etc.

He said that AITUC has been demanding the Government of India to amend the Minimum Wage Act and raise the monthly minimum wage to Rs 15,000 and monthly pension to Rs 3000 .

Although the Inter State Bus Terminus was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan two years back, the same terminus cannot be made operational till date.

IOC's oil tankers and other trucks which are occupying ISBT should be removed within a month and it should be made operational as soon as possible, Sotinkumar said.

He conveyed that the incumbent NDA Government would be urged to deploy Highway Protection Force along National Highways passing through Manipur in view of all the unlawful activities and harassment meted out to transporters.

Transporters would prefer to take Imphal-Jiribam highway if not for its deplorable condition.

BRO should be relieved from the responsibility of maintaining and developing the highway immediately and the highway should be handed over to the Military Engineering Department, Sotinkumar added.


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