Truckers’ strike: Commodity shortage in ChandigarhJanuary 6th, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, Jan 6 (IANS) The truck operators’ nationwide strike entered its second day Tuesday, leading to an anticipated shortage of vegetables and other essential commodities here and the neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula.Thousands of trucks from Punjab and Haryana, as in the rest of the country, went off the roads midnight of Sunday-Monday following a strike call given by India’s apex transporters’ body, the All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC).
“Very few trucks (only 50-60) carrying vegetables reached the vegetable and grain market of Chandigarh on Monday and no truck came in today (Tuesday) since morning. Due to the limited supply, there has been a shortage of vegetables and prices of many vegetables have already been increased,” Jujhar Singh Badheri, director of grain market committee here said.
“We will be out of stock in the next one or two days, if the strike continues,” Badheri added.
Vegetable and grain market here is one of the biggest grain markets of the region and everyday over 500 trucks loaded with vegetables and fruits come here from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
“The government is not ready to cooperate with the truck drivers and they are trying to intimidate us. However, we are not going to withdraw our strike till all our demands are met. We are not demanding anything irrational, these all are our long pending demands,” AIMTC president Charan Singh Lohara told IANS Tuesday.
“In the earlier meetings with government officials, they kept giving us false assurances but now it is high time we fought for our rights. Till now, truck operators were following a peaceful path but the government has aggravated the situation,” said Lohara.
According to him, about 20 percent of the estimated six million trucks on Indian roads were deployed Monday, which declined Tuesday. All trucks would go off the roads Wednesday, Lohara asserted.