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Demands met, trucks to roll

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 15: The proposed indefinite strike, scheduled to start from the midnight today, was called off as the state government conceded all the demands of truckers, including suo motu revision of freight charges.

“We have decided to withdraw the strike following the written assurance by the government regarding fulfilment of our seven-point demands,” said president of All-Odisha Truck Owners’ Federation Rabi Narayan Satpathy.

With the government accepting all their demands, truckers will now have the freedom to fix freight charges based on the price of petroleum products.

“During discussion with the minister, Subrat Tarai, he assured to fulfil our demands. We wanted a written assurance from the government and we got that this evening,” said Satpathy.

Satpathy said though they had an all India permit, the state government was imposing another one. However, today they have agreed not to enforce it. The government has also decided not to allow private companies to manage technical aspects of the regional transport offices.

Tarai also assured to formulate a guideline within a fortnight to collect extra fees from border check gates.

The government planned to involve a private body to check fitness of vehicles, but the move now lies aborted with the truckers opposing it.

However, the government did not accept the demand of Bhubaneswar truckers to allow trucks in the city during the ban period.

President of the Bhubaneswar Truck Owners’ Association, Jajati Keshari Pradhan said the government did not take any decision regarding setting up of a logistic park and allowing goods vehicles into the city for a limited period during day time. “We will decide our future course of action later,” he said.