Upset with Singur road blockade, truckers threaten strike

August 26th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 26 (IANS) The indefinite protest by the Trinamool Congress near the Tata Motors small car factory site in Singur in West Bengal has affected truck movements, and owners say the protesters have blocked a crucial highway causing them massive losses.The Truck Owners Association of Bengal Tuesday threatened to go on a protest strike if the Durgapur Expressway on National Highway 2 at Hooghly district, an entry point to the state, remained clogged due to the indefinite siege by Trinamool Congress supporters at Singur, 40 km from here.

“What has the 200 feet expressway got to do with the Tatas’ Nano factory? Our trucks are stranded on the highway and our business is running at loss due to this agitation,” a spokesperson of the association said.

“We have requested both Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee so that they get at least a part of the road opened. Or else we too will call an agitation,” he said.

However, Chakraborty said he has already appealed to senior Trinamool leader Madan Mitra to find a solution to this traffic gridlock.

“The Trinamool agitation is causing unnecessary problems to common people. I have requested Mitra Tuesday to clear at least a part of the NH2 so that movement of vehicles, especially trucks, is not hampered,” Charkaborty said.

District sources said abouta hundred trucks with perishable food items, and oil and gas tankers are stranded on NH2.

The Trinamool-led Krishijami Jiban Jibika Raksha Committee (KJJRC), which opposes the takeover of farmland for the Tata project, has called for an indefinite protest at the Nano factory site from Sunday.

The protesters are demanding the return of 400 acres of land which they allege was forcibly taken from “unwilling farmers” to build ancillary industries adjacent to the Tata Motors’ main plant.

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