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Arbitrary traffic rules cause commotion in city; e-rickshaw and TomTom drivers protest


BY TC News Desk

Agartala, August 19: In a dramatic turn of events, tensions between two labour organizations aligned with the ruling party have ignited a fierce battle over the city’s traffic management policies. The recent changes to traffic police regulations, ostensibly aimed at curbing congestion, have instead created chaos and increased public suffering.

Amid the ongoing turmoil, the government has convened discussions with one of the affiliated labour organizations, leading to allegations of a concocted decision that severely impacts the labour force. Workers, feeling the brunt of the situation, have taken to the streets in protest.

In recent days, the city has witnessed a flurry of new regulations, with TomTom and e-rickshaw drivers joining the protest on a Saturday marked by tension. TomTom drivers found themselves banned from entering the Capital Post Office Chowmuhani – Kaman Chowmuhani route, while travellers from the motor stand to Kaman Chowmuhani were also met with restrictions imposed by traffic police.

Expressing their grievances, e-rickshaw and TomTom drivers staged a roadblock around 11 am on Saturday near the Post Office Chowmuhani area, citing passenger inconvenience due to travel restrictions. Passengers, in response, showed reluctance to use their services.

An attempt to engage with the acting SP of the traffic department on Friday yielded no results, as drivers were kept waiting until late in the evening without meeting the SP. Meanwhile, it came to light that Imam Hossain, the leader of the Mazdoor Monitoring Cell, had been summoned by the SP and was instrumental in imposing restrictions on the TomTom route from Post Office Chowmuhani to Kaman Chowmuhani.

In response to mounting complications, the traffic police reluctantly summoned all blockaders to the West police station, where it was decided to hold a meeting with the transport department on the matter the following Monday. Workers voiced their demands, particularly in light of the upcoming Durga Puja festival, and criticized the department’s decision as a severe blow to TomTom and e-rickshaw drivers.

The protesters emphasized that those summoned to the SP’s office and involved in making decisions were not directly engaged in operating these vehicles. Blockaders called for disbanding their fictitious organization and urged responsible decision-making to prevent traffic gridlock.

Ultimately, the blockaders warned that if their demands were not met and normal traffic flow through the restricted road was not restored, they would consider closing the road to all. Highlighting the significance of workers’ votes in establishing governments, officials from the Tripura e-Rickshaw Sangh called off the blockade as a gesture of goodwill, urging the government to reconsider its stance by Monday.

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