Goalpara, Feb. 23: The Goalpara District Truck Owners’ Association today stood firm in its decision to disallow coal-laden trucks into the Garo hills region of Meghalaya.
Since February 17, the association has refused to let trucks from Assam travel to Meghalaya along National Highways 62 and 37 that connect Shallang in West Khasi Hills with Hahim in Boko circle of Kamrup district and Damra in Goalpara district.
The president of the truck owners’ association, Abul Kalam Hussain, said several illegal tollgates have been established on the two highways and Rs 35,000-Rs 45,000 is being illegally collected from every truck that passes through these roads.
“We have submitted several memorandums to the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya, demanding immediate action against the illegal collection. But the collection is continuing, which is why we have refrained from plying our vehicles to Meghalaya indefinitely. We warn both the governments that if they do not take any steps to stop these illegal gates we will continue our strike,” Hussain said.
The association will allow vehicles carrying diesel, petrol, kerosene and LPG cylinders to ply from Monday.
The Meghalaya government has ordered a high-level inquiry into the alleged illegal tollgates along NH 62.
“We have shown respect to the chief minister of Meghalaya as he has ordered an inquiry into the illegal tollgates racket. Therefore, we have decided to temporarily withdraw the economic blockade called earlier. We will wait for seven days and if the government does not take any action against the illegal gates, we will be compelled to enforce the blockade,” Hussain added.