(MENAFN - KNN India) Truckers' indefinite strike in West Bengal takes a toll on import and export from state
Kolkata, August 20 (KNN) | The import and export of goods including perishable items into and from West Bengal has come to stand-still today with nearly six lakh trucks going on an indefinite strike.
The truck owners and operators in West Bengal have called for an indefinite strike demanding a 25 per cent increase in the maximum Safe Axle Weight for goods vehicles and protesting on host of issues including police excesses and hike in third party insurance premium.
Talking to KNN India, Subhas Chandra Bose, General Secretary of Federation of West Bengal Truck Operators' Associations (FWBTOA) said, 'The axle load has been increased by 25 per cent in entire country except West Bengal. The axle load is yet to be upgraded in the state which is a subject of huge loss as we are unable to compete with other states. We have taken this initiative to get addressed the issue being faced by the truckers of the state.
Chandra said, 'The police harassment adds more to the existing problem. Fines on national highways and unnecessary penalties imposed by the police attract huge loss to us. We are associated with 8 Lakh truckers from all over the state which employs around 90 lakh people. A number of incidents keep happening like fight over penalties with police, barricading are being done by them in nights to impose penalties over the drivers. To get the fitness certificate pass, it is taking at least 2 months. There are multiple toll plazas across the country, which charge high rates for transport of goods.
Talking about the duration of strike he added, 'As of now we have not decided any time limit or take back our strike. It is a serious problem for the truckers' community which needs to be solved by the government immediately.
Nearly 40-45,000 vehicles enter Bengal daily. Due to the strike, 1,400-1,500 vehicles carrying goods like eggs, onion, and fish have been stuck at Sonakania border. Also, around 400 trucks loaded carrying vegetable out of Bengal are also not moving.
The total export and import of goods in different border areas of Bengal are reportedly closed today. (KNN/ VS)