A week-long strike by lorry service operators who transport tea in Coonoor was called off on Friday.

Following the operators going off the roads demanding a hike in transportation charges, about 40 lakh kg of tea could not be moved out of various warehouses, according to tea industry sources.

Pointing out that the worst affected by the strike were tea growers and manufacturers, the sources told The Hindu here on Saturday that the Nilgiris Collector P. Sankar had intervened and asked revenue and transport officials and the police to evolve ways to end the strike.

Consequently, the Revenue Divisional Offcer, A. Selvaraj, the Regional Transport Officer, D. Venkataraman, and the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Velan, had held talks with Sekar, secretary of the New Coonoor Road Transport Association, and Mohamed, president of the Lorry Owners Association, on Friday.

Late in the evening it was decided that the rental charges being paid to the lorry operators should be hiked by 8 per cent. As a result, the operators agreed to start moving out the tea bags and crates on Saturday.

However, the sources said that normalcy could not be restored as assured due to the lorry drivers not turning up for work. The operators have said that they will resume transport services on Monday.

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