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Hill TMC accused of leveraging Kurseong traffic rule fiasco

KURSEONG: The differences between the administration and the GJM-affiliated Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh over new traffic rules in Kurseong may have been sorted out, but the TMC is likely to benefit as several dissatisfied drivers, mainly those of private vehicles, have begum knocking at the Trinamool’s doors seeking suitable parking spaces. After several requests by the Mahasangh, the administration made some additions and changes to the new traffic rules apparently for the benefit of drivers and passengers, which put an end to the impasse. Still, there are several drivers dissatisfied over the new traffic rules and the outcome of the meeting held on Monday between the Kurseong SDO and representatives of various driver associations under the banner of the Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh. The disappointed drivers have reportedly approached the TMC with their grievances and sought help to identify a suitable parking place for their vehicles. Sources today said the senior leadership of the hill TMC held a meeting at the Gorkha Jan Pustakalay here with the disgruntled drivers who have not secured suitable parking places following the new traffic rule setup. 

A disappointed driver said, “I am really disturbed by the new rules because private vehicle drivers have not been allotted a proper place to park. For the past several decades, we have sustained our lives by driving and have been parking our vehicles at the Kurseong motor stand. The motor stand is a place where most passengers throng to board vehicles. But now, due to the implementation of the new rules, we have been literally thrown out. If plans are undertaken for the development of the town area, a unanimously agreeable proposal should have been announced considering the fact of our livelihood.” He added everyone wants a better traffic system for Kurseong, but the administration should ensure any new move does not affect the livelihood of private drivers as they have been relocated from the busiest intersection of town to places such as the Montiviet ground where passengers are loathe to go. 

Meantime, Mahasangh general secretary Subash Pradhan clarified the organisation has always worked for the interest of all drivers and the common public. This was why they had called an indefinite transportation strike in Kurseong for four days. He also noted there is no need for separate taxi and private vehicle stands as earlier too, both groups have parked and worked together. Private vehicles can adjust in the taxi stands at Dharamshala or other places earmarked by the administration and set aside all apparent differences. Pradhan also alleged the TMC is taking advantage of the situation and playing politics to disturb the peace and harmony among the driver fraternity. To this, the hill TMC leadership rejected the accusation saying if any person comes seeking help, he is always welcome.

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