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Truckers get belligerent

East Singhbhum district administration’s decision to impose 16-hour entry curbs on heavy vehicles has angered steel city transporters who are now threatening strike that could disrupt industrial supplies.

Two organisations claiming to represent owners of heavy vehicles, Jamshedpur Transport Welfare Association and Jamshedpur Truck and Trailor Owners’ Welfare Association, staged protest on Wednesday at the district collectorate and submitted petitions with deputy commissioner (DC) Amitabh Kaushal.

The associations demanded lifting of the 6am to 10pm entry curbs.

As per a directive issued by the district administration on Monday, the no-entry restrictions on trucks and other large carriers would remain in force till August 16.

Earlier, the no-entry curbs on heavy vehicles were in three timeslots: between 6am and 9am, keeping in mind school hours, noon and 2.30pm and 5pm and 10.30pm.

Transport welfare association president S. P. Singh and his counterpart in the trailor owners’ association Kulwinder Singh Pannu have in separate petitions cited losses they were incurring because of the directive.

Both Singh and Pannu have also spoken of difficulties they faced while unloading consignments and threatened to stop plying and stage an agitation if their demands weren’t met in three-four days.

“We are already suffering losses due to recession and this directive will burden us with more losses. This directive prevents us from moving in the daytime. And during night, no labourers are available to unload goods,” Singh claimed.

He warned that delays in unloading would ultimately damage perishable commodities and lead to price rise.

Around 2,000 heavy vehicles carry industrial goods, while around 500 heavy vehicles are used to transport perishables.

A delegation of residents under the aegis of Mango Vikas Samiti submitted a petition in support of the restrictions on heavy vehicles. “We want the entry restrictions on heavy vehicles to continue even after August 16. We have been demanding this for long as we face a lot of problems crossing Mango bridge due to speeding heavy vehicles,” said Binod Singh, adding that the move would help reduce accidents.

DC Kaushal said he had received petitions for and against the curbs. “We issued the directive in view of mishaps, pollution and traffic snarls. I have asked the transporters to submit a solution to remove bottlenecks. If they do, we will definitely look at it,” he said.


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