The committee demanded withdrawal of unilateral decisions by the State government while urging the government to convene a meeting to discuss issues

The All Kerala Tank Truck Owners and Workers Coordination Committee has called for a Statewide indefinite strike from October 5 in protest against the alleged harassment of tanker workers in the guise of vehicle check and registration of fake cases against tanker lorry owners.

In a release issued in Kochi on Thursday, the committee said that the State government had failed to make corrective administrative measures to rule out future disasters even five weeks after the accident in Chala in Kannur that claimed 20 lives.

The police and motor vehicle department authorities are acting as if tanker lorry workers are responsible for such accidents, it said.

Oil tankers are being intercepted on the ground that their operations remain banned during day time and its workers harassed and huge fines being slapped on them.

The release observed that the insistence of having two drivers in tanker lorries will bring their operations to a standstill. Roads should be made motorable to avert future accidents.

Traffic signals and dividers on roads should be scientifically reconstituted. Reflectors should be affixed on dividers and sodium vapour lamps should be installed for clear visibility at dividers.

Safety classes on emergency steps to be taken in the event of accidents should be re-started.

The committee demanded withdrawal of unilateral decisions by the State government while urging the government to convene a meeting of police, motor vehicle department, petroleum companies, tanker lorry owners and workers to discuss issues involved.

A State convention of the committee held in Tripunithura decided that all tanker lorries engaged in the transport of products of HPC, BPCL, IOC, and Kochi Refinery and chemical firms will strike work if these demands are not met.

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