Octroi agents threaten strike over demands

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Mumbai, Oct 8 (UNI) The 460 octroi agents from all the five octroi points in the city have threatened to go on strike, if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not fulfil their demands within eight days.

Speaking at a news conference here today, the Chairman of the Mumbai Octroi Agents Federation Suhash Nandodkar said the Federation has demanded that the seized vehicles should be let off within eight hours' time. Their other demands including checking of vehicles at the octroi nakas, and not stranding vehicles at isolated stops, should be met in eight days, failing which they will go on strike.

''The officials of the octroi department should do all their checks and verifications at the nakas itself and we are ready to cooperate with them,'' he said.

He said the officials harass the octroi agents and are working hand in glove with the agents to evade octroi duty that should stop.

Mr Nandodkar said the officials have seized more than 250 trucks in the last few days and 56 vehicles were checked in 25 days and more than 110 vehicles are parked at Bhandup complex, an outer area where the drivers have to live without food or water arrangements in the vicinity. Fifty-six vehicles are held on the LBS Marg at Mulund, he informed.

The Federation vice chairman Mukesh Gogri said ''The officials allow the vehicles after undervaluing the goods in it and after some time the vigilance squad raids the vehicles and charges them 10 times the undervalued amount.'' He said the officials are doing this to increase their annual collections from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore.

UNI

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