K'taka: Transporters harden stance, intensify strike

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Bangalore, Jan 21: The transporters protesting against mandatory installation of speed governors intensified their strike on the second day today with movement of commercial transport vehicles, mainly trucks, caming to a standstill in almost the entire state.

Movement of essential commodities were badly hit in most parts of the state and traders felt that if the stir was not withdrawn immediately shortage of commodites might be felt from tomorrow. Transport of petrol, diesel and LPG had also been affected.

The two rounds of negotiations held between the Federation of Kanataka Lorry owners and Agents Associations (FKSLOA) and the government had failed yesterday. The truckers refused to attend the third round of talks called by Principal Secretary (Transport) D Thangaraj today.

Speaking to the Sources, Transport Commissioner Lakshmi Narayana, confirming the boycott of talks by the truck operators, said the Federation office bearers were likely to attend the meeting later in the afternoon. "Only goods vehicels have stopped plying while maxi cabs, taxis and school buses are running. Trucks from outside the state are welcome to enter the state and protection would be given. 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 even as the strike intensified within Karnataka. Thousands of trucks 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, had gone off the roads and the state transporters had lost nearly Rs 100 crores in the stir, while thousands of trucks, while transporters from outside the state had suffered the same loss.

Traders said the effect of the strike would start showing from tomorrow, it is is not withdrawn immediately. The transporters complained that speed governors were priced too high in the state at RS 16,000 while the same equipment cost just Rs 2500 in Delhi. They demanded that the government should ensure supply speed governors at the same price and then they would agree to fix them in their vehicles.


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