Vijayawada, Dec 18 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Lorry Owners Association (APLOA) today announced that it would support the indefinite state wide strike called by the Truck Owners Federation in Orissa beginning from the midnight of January six, 2008, in support of their demands.
Talking to newspersons here, APLOA General Secretary Y V Eswara Rao said the strike call was given by the federation at an emergency meeting held at Cuttack on November 28 in protest against the torture and harrassment of the truck operators by the Orissa transport, police, commercial tax departments and finance companies.
He said after the bandh in Ichapuram on the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa border in 2005, the Orissa Government had reduced the Mechanical Tax (MT) from Rs 2,500 to Rs 1,100 and introduced five per cent tolerance limit over and above the GVM capacity oftrucks.
But for the last six months, the MT was increased again to Rs 1,400 and abolished the five per cent tolerance limit of the trucks, he alleged.
The federation also demanded the Orissa Government to stop illegal seizure of vehicles in view of the apex court judgement, abolition of MT, reduction of toll gate charges and truck freight in iron sector, fixation of minimum freight charge and action to stop labour harrassment at Paradip Port.
He alleged that though the federation had given a charter of 12-point demands to the Orissa government, there was no concrete response from the government till now.
Mr Rao said of the 3,60,000 lorries in Andhra Pradesh, 50,000 lorries plying to Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and North Eastern states through Orissa state would not be operated following the strike.
The APLOA would incur a loss of Rs five crore daily towards transport charges, he added.
He also appealed to the lorry owners in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu not to send their lorries with perishable goods from January six.