Truckers strike leaves goods piled up in Tamil Nadu

February 26th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, Feb 26 (IANS) A four-day-old indefinite lorry strike in neighbouring Karnataka has led to huge stocks of textiles, edible oil and other commodity piling up in the border areas of Tamil Nadu. Thousands of factory workers face the prospect of losing their livelihood. The lorry owners in Karnataka are demanding scrapping of orders for compulsory installation of inbuilt speed regulators in trucks as well as withdrawal of the 150 percent hike in the premium for third party insurance for heavy vehicles.

The strike has led to huge stocks of textiles, edible oils, turmeric and cotton yarn worth over Rs.400 billion piling up in the border districts of Erode and Salem. Power looms have fallen silent due to non-arrival of cotton yarn and dyes, representatives of traders’ bodies said here.

“We do not understand the motive behind the strike. Our members are the hardest hit because our enterprises are based on movement of goods through Karnataka to the north,” T.N. Kannan, a major dealer in textile goods from Salem, around 350 km from here, told IANS on telephone.

Truck owners have a different point of view.

“We have no option but to support the action of the Karnataka lorry owners’ associations because, like us, they have a genuine grouse. The speed regulator machines cost at least Rs.40,000 each and combined with the rising insurance costs, it has become a major burden for us,” said S. Yesudhas, president of Chennai Metropolitan Transporting Agents’ Association.

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