Ludhiana school bus operators stage stir, demand relief package

: The members of school bus operator welfare association on Thursday staged a protest against the state government and demanded a special relief package.

The agitators demanded direct transfer of money on the lines of the Delhi government.

School bus welfare association president Harjit Singh Kalsi said nearly 30,000 school bus operators from across the state have been rendered jobless due to the spread of Covid-19 and that many among them were under huge debt.

He said these bus operators were submitting nearly ₹60 crore in the form of taxes. “But the pandemic has devastated everything. Neither the schools nor the partners are giving us money. We have exhausted our savings and are now facing a serious scarcity of food,” Kalsi rued.

Due to the new policy of the government, they had to buy new vehicles for which they took huge loans, he claimed.

“We demand that on the pattern of the AAP government in Delhi, which is offering financial relief to autorickshaw drivers and bus operators by directly transferring the amount in their bank accounts, the Punjab government should offer a similar relief package,” said Kalsi.

Expressing their plight outside the deputy commissioner’s office, they said hunger would kill them before Covid-19 could.

After the protest, the delegation members handed over a memorandum to the DC and demanded immediate relief from the state government.

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