Truckers adamant but food supplies unaffected

The deadlock between the striking transporters and the government entered the fifth day on Friday with both parties failing to reach any agreement.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:January 10, 2009 1:30 am

The deadlock between the striking transporters and the government entered the fifth day on Friday with both parties failing to reach any agreement. However,this has had little effect on prices of essential food commodities.

According to Ashok Walunj,the director of Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC),there was no rise in prices of essential commodities till Friday evening owing to the strike. Some 190 trucks of onion and potatoes,450 trucks and tempos of vegetables and 280 trucks and tempos each of fruits and food grains came to APMC market in Vashi by Friday evening.

“These food items have been declared essential commodities,so there is little effect of strike on us. But had the petrol strike continued for a day more,we would have had a tough time,” said Walunj.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said: “The vehicle movement has improved. The decision in this regard is being taken at the Central level. But these strikes are illegal and appropriate action will be taken against them.”

As compared to 988 transport vehicles that came into the city on Thursday,1,460 arrived on Friday. As against 917 vehicles that left the city on Thursday,1,564 went on Friday.

The striking transporters,however,were unfazed by the arrest of a few transporters of their parent union in Delhi on Friday evening. All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) national president Charansingh Lohara and 40 members of the managing committee were those arrested.

“So far none of the office-bearers of the Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) have been arrested in the city,” said vice-president Sunil Kale. “We are ready to face the consequences. All associations have decided not to disrupt the supply of essential items,but the agitation will continue,” he said.

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