Interstate Winger service stops service

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IMPHAL, March 3: Winger passenger services plying along the Imphal- Dimapur highway will be stopping their operations  on the said route on an indefinite basis starting from  midnight today as a protest against the taxes being collected by the Government and monetary demands from various underground groups, including those which are under  the Suspension of Operation (SOO) with the Government. This was stated by M Tombi , the President of the All Manipur Inter-State Winger Transporters Union today at the union`s office.

Speaking to the media, M Tombi  said that the decision to stop passenger service had to be taken following ”  the unbearable demand” from various underground elements and the taxes collected by the different police stations along the route of both Manipur and Nagaland governments, he said.

He elaborated on the various taxes being levied on the highway saying: When going in Dimapur we have to pay several taxes, starting from the toll tax at Sekmai Police station for which vehicles pay tax of 20 rupees, Rs 20 at Senapati P/S, Rs 10 at Tadubi P/S , Rs 20 at Mao gate, 100 rupees to  the NSCN IM at Mao gate in Manipur. Once we enter Nagaland, vehicles have to pay a tax of 100 rupees at Pishima Police station, Rs 20  to the Driver Union Nagaland at Dzuko valley gate, Rs 20 to Soil and conservation department, 100 rupees to Khuzuma P/S, Rs 50  to Kohima Municipal Council, Rs 20 as Zakhama toll tax, Rs 100 at Lalmati P/S, Rs 100 to Nechu police gate, Rs 20 as Ghaspani toll tax, Rs 50  to the Dimapur Municipal Council (Burma camp) and Rs 15 each, to the Nagaland Police (Dimapur) and Taxi Union Dimapur for every one way trip.

He further added that each Winger have to pay another 500 rupees each on a  monthly basis to the Bus Union Dimapur and the Dimapur Municipal Council. ” We end up paying about two thousand rupees for every round trip because of the various taxes imposed on us,” M. Tombi said while adding that the passenger fare of Rs 600 for a one way trip on the highway ends up being distributed equally between ticket counters and vehicle owners and pointed out that the remaining amount was too meager to cover vehicle maintenance and to provide for families.

Appealing to the government to take a serious look into the matte, he asked for passenger fare to be fixed for the Imphal-Dimapur-Imphal route, further adding that the call to stop passenger service was not an act taken against any underground group but from a genuine inability to cope with various problems faced by vehicle owners.

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