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Truckers intensify agitation on NH- 62
Correspondent WILLIAMNAGAR, FEB 8:
Published on 9 Feb. 2009 1:21 AM IST
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As the agitating truck owners from Assam intensified their agitation along the NH -62, the Meghalaya government today invited them for a dialogue to settle their grievances. The truck owners under the banner of the Goalpara District Truck Owners' Association (GDTOA), which is on an indefinite strike since yesterday, banning movement of coal-laden from state's East Garo Hills district to Assam has called for an economic blockade from tomorrow after the Meghalaya government failed to dismantle unauthorised check gates along the NH - 62. The indefinite strike, supported by Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners' and Operators' Association has affected the coal trade in Garo Hills with thousands of truckers came to a grinding halt. "We have further intensified our agitation by imposing a two-day each of economic blockades from February 9 and a total bandh from February 11 along the NH - 62 to prevent vehicles movement to three districts of Garo Hills in Meghalaya," GDTOA Mridul Saha said. He said the association would continue further intensify its agitation till the government dismantle all the illegal gates. The association is demanding demolition of atleast 22 illegal toll gates, weigh bridges, pollution testing centres, state forest gate, Garo Hills District Council forest gate, Road Management check gate, Medical and Health Care check gate erected along the NH -62 inside Meghalaya. Each loaded truck plying through the illegal check gates have to pay a total of Rs. 8000 and an empty truck have to pay Rs 2000 each in five check gates. Last week, GTDOA had submitted a representation to Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary and Chief Minister Donkupar Roy demanding immediate dismantling of all the illegal check gates before February 6. Earlier, some legislators of Meghalaya had raised the issue of illegal check gates with Chief Minister Donkupar Roy and submitted a memorandum last year urging him to dismantle the illegal check gates. They had even suggested that the state government to set up a single window clearance involving only departments which are legally authorized by law to collect tolls from the coal laden and empty trucks. Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government has directed the Deputy Commissioner of East Garo Hills district Vijay Kumar to invite the agitating truck owners for a dialogue tomorrow at Williamnagar.

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