They want road tax to be waived in view of the lockdown

In a massive blockade that disrupted normal traffic for several hours on Monday, private travel operators lined up buses and vans on both sides of the East Coast Road and the 100 feet flyover near the transport office, demanding waiver of road tax in view of the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown that followed.

The Federation of Tourist Vehicle Owners and employees have been protesting against the imposition of road tax on tourist vehicles which have not operated for six months due to the coronavirus situation. Since the first curfew was imposed across the country in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there had been a near total freeze on public transport and vehicular traffic, the federation said. The blockade of the Transport Department on Monday was an intensification of a stir by tourist vehicle owners.

According to the federation, the government did not initiate negotiations with private bus owners even as government buses began operating in a phased manner.

The tourist vehicle owners said they would not give up the struggle until the road tax was repealed.

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