Truckers’ bandh elicits mixed response

DIMAPUR, SEP 30 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/30/2020 12:42:36 PM IST

Call for lifting ‘chakka jam’

As the “indefinite economic” bandh on Dimapur took effect September 28, a joint meeting convened by Dimapur Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in Dimapur on Wednesday has called for lifting the bandh. On the other hand the Public Action Committee of Dimapur along with Kohima District Truck Owners and Drivers Union-- have expressed full support to the demands of the truckers association.

It may be mentioned that five truckers’ associations including Dimapur District Truck Owners’ Association, Dimapur Truck Drivers’ Union, Dimapur District Truck Drivers’ Welfare Trade Union, Lahorijan & Khatkhati Truckers’ Welfare Society and Bokajan Truck Owners’ Association began their “indefinite economic blockade” from Tuesday morning.

In a press release, DCCI president Akashe K Zhimomi said that the joint meeting held on Wednesday was attended by Dimapur Goods Transport Association, Dimapur District Truck Owners’ Union, Dimapur District Truck Drivers’ Welfare Trade Union and Dimapur District Truck Drivers’ Union. DCCI informed that the joint meeting “took serious note” of the agitation that has affected supply of essential goods and live-saving drugs into Nagaland amid Covid-19 pandemic.

DCCI said the joint meeting noted that the “chakka jam” was creating fear psychosis among general public and resolved that various transporters and truck unions of Dimapur should immediately resume operation to normalise the transportation and supply chain.

It stated that the general public and businessmen including transporters have incurred heavy losses in the past six months due to Covid-19 pandemic. At this juncture, the meeting affirmed that “we cannot afford another bandh or agitation.”

The meeting also urged upon the state government to take up the issue with its Assam counterpart and exert strong pressure on the latter, since the agitation has impacted the smooth flow of supplies. 

DCCI pointed out that due to the bandh truckloads of essential commodities and perishable items were rotting and getting damaged. It asked who will be responsible for the losses and payment of compensation? 

DCCI has also appealed to the commissioner of police Dimapur to communicate with Assam police to improve police escort for safe passage of trucks and transporters crossing the inter-state border.

The meeting also lauded the Dimapur police for the prompt action in pursuing the case of the September 22 killing of a truck driver (Jiten Gogoi) in Dimapur. The joint meeting affirmed confidence that Dimapur police would expedite the investigation to its logical conclusion. The meeting also appealed to the responsible authority to compensate the family members of the slain truck driver.

PAC in solidarity with truckers

DIMAPUR, SEP 30 (NPN): Public Action Committee (PAC), Dimapur has expressed its solidarity with truck owners’ and drivers’ unions for their economic blockade that began on Tuesday. Extending its support to the transporters’ grievances, the committee in a statement demanded that these should be addressed without delay to avoid causing hardships to citizens. It also appealed to peace-loving citizens and organisations to support the transporters who have not only lost money, but also a driver on September 22. 
Asserting that “mafiadom had no place in a democratic State”, PAC vehemently condemned the killing of the truck driver and demanded that the assailants be apprehended and given punishment. PAC said it could feel the pulse of truckers who were always at the receiving end as it had always stood against multiple illegal collection of money at various locations. PAC said it had conducted market surveys in Dimapur long time back and found that goods-laden vehicles entering the town were levied multiple illegal taxes by various quarters, which was one of the main factors for price escalation. 
PAC reminded that during its “Operation Check Gate”, it had collected hard evidence to prove that a single item was taxed multiple times. 
Pointing out that surface transport was one of the major means through which goods were shipped to Nagaland and, which solely depended on other States for all its needs, PAC said the burden of lackadaisical attitude of the State government in rooting out illegal collection was ultimately borne by the layman who feels the pinch the most. 
It demanded that the government should ensure that goods-laden vehicles entering/passing the State’s commercial hub should not face any harassment and given safe passage from the town to Khuzama. 
PAC also reminded the government that the deadline was ticking and added that it would not shy away from the desire of the society for peace, justice and equality.

KDTODU backs bandh
Kohima District Truck Owners and Drivers’ Union (KDTODU) has extended “full support” to the ongoing indefinite economic bandh called by five truck associations. KDTODU president Rüvese Sokha and secretary Küvethi Puro condemned the “dastardly killing” of a truck driver Jiten Gogoi.

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