Transporters harden stance, intensify strike in K'taka

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Bangalore, Jan 22 (UNI) Transporters protesting against mandatory installation of speed governors intensified their strike on the second day today with movement of commercial vehicles, mainly trucks, coming to a standstill in almost all places across Karnataka.

Movement of essential commodities were badly hit in most parts of the state. Traders said if the stir was not withdrawn immediately, shortage of commodites might be face from tomorrow.

Transport of petrol, diesel and LPG had also been affected following the stir.

As two rounds of negotiations held between the Federation of Kanataka Lorry Owners and Agents Associations (FKSLOA) and the government failed yesterday, the truck operators refused to take part in the third round of talks convened by Principal Secretary (Transport) D Thangaraj today.

Speaking to UNI, Transport Commissioner Lakshmi Narayana, confirming the boycott of talks by truckers, said the Federation office-bearers were likely to attend the meeting later in the afternoon.

''Only goods vehicles have stopped plying while maxi cabs, taxis and school buses are running. Protection will be given to trucks entering the state but if they are not willing to come in we are helpless,'' he said.

Thousands of trucks were stranded at the state borders with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as the strike intensified within Karnataka. Thousands of transport vehicles were seen parked along the highways near dhabas and hotels within the state.

FKSLOA President G R Shanmugappa said nearly three lakh transport vehicles, mainly trucks, were off the roads. The state transporters had lost nearly Rs 100 crore in the stir, while thousands of trucks, from outside the state had suffered an equal loss.

The transporters complained that price of speed governors were too high in the state at Rs 16,000, while the same equipment cost just Rs 2,500 in Delhi.

They demanded that the government should ensure supply of speed governors at the same price and then only they would agree to fix them in their vehicles.


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