Govt to abolish cooperatives system for taxi syndicates

Sanjeet Kharel
Tue, Jun 11, 2019

Seeking to work out solution on the pressing issues raised by drivers in the State, Transport minister Sanjeet Kharel held a coordination meeting with the Motor Vehicle department officials at Tashiling Secretariat here today. Members of ruling SKM-affiliated Sikkim Krantikari Chalak Morcha were also present at the meeting, which came as a follow up on their demands placed before the minister earlier on June 7.
The drivers’ body had submitted six demands to the Transport minister including issues pertaining to smooth operation of the vehicles in the State. The request placed included the fitness certificate issue, to eradicate resubmission of documents while renewal of driving license, special permit issue, authorization letter issue, to eradicate the charges applied for retention of old number plate by the owner and to abolish the cooperative system and reinstate the drivers association in its place for operation of taxi syndicates.
Minister Kharel after going through the deliberations by the drivers and department officials directed to immediately abolish the cooperative system and reinstate the drivers association in its place. Similarly, he said issues pertaining to the department would be carefully studied and in consultation with the officials necessary solution would be met. “We are here to serve the people of Sikkim and the State, so all activities initiated by our government would be for the welfare, benefit of the people. Similarly all matters relating to the divers would be dealt with priority and consultation so that the drivers of the State carryout their profession smoothly with dignity,” he said.
During the meeting, the minister also raised the matter of installation of panic button in all the commercial vehicles and added that after prior consultation with the officials, the opinion of the Chalak Sangh would be sought before it is implemented.
Driver’s body vice president Chungchung Bhutia and Rajani Gurung expressed their happiness over the declaration of abolition of cooperative system and reinstating the drivers association in its place. They expressed hope that the new government will definitely work for the upliftment, welfare of the drivers and people of Sikkim. They also welcomed the minister’s statement of considering the views of stakeholders with respect to introduction or extension of any new laws, rules in the State from near future.  
Chalak Morcha general secretary Raju Thatal said there are many issues pertaining to the welfare of the drivers and the initiative of bringing about solution to all the persisting problems faced would be raised at the appropriate forum considering welfare. We are hopeful that the new government will definitely deliver justice to us, he said.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi