Protest against delay in clearing vehicles at Wayalar check-post

Truckers will stop operating their vehicles to Kerala from midnight of July 20 to protest against the delay in clearing trucks entering the State through the check-post at Walayar on the Coimbatore-Palakkad border, Chairman of the All India Motor Transport Congress’s (AIMTC) Toll Committee and the former National President of the transporters body G.R. Shanmugappa said on Tuesday.

The decision was taken at the AIMTC’s Managing Committee meeting on July 2.

A letter announcing the strike was sent to the Government of India and Kerala.

“We will wait till Saturday for necessary action, failing which the strike will be inevitable. Movement of goods to Kerala on all the routes will be stopped,” he said.

Each truck was cleared in less than 10 minutes at check-posts in Tamil Nadu. But, it took eight to 24 hours at the Walayar check-post in Kerala, Mr. Shanmugappa alleged. The Kerala government had not resolved this problem for about 10 years and the AIMTC had gone on strike on five occasions over this issue, each lasting for 10 to 20 days, he said.

“We withdrew the strike each time after the Kerala government assured us that trucks will be cleared in less than 15 minutes. But the promise is yet to be fulfilled,” he said.

AIMTC vice-president for South India, N.P. Velu, said Kerala made it mandatory for trucks carrying goods worth more than Rs.10 lakh to enter only through Walayar.

He said that about 5,000 to 6,000 load carriers – including 2,500 trucks and trailers – from across India reached Kerala through Walayar every day.

“The strike will result in stagnation of goods worth more than Rs.250 crore a day,” Mr. Velu said.

No trucks to Puducherry

Meanwhile, the State Lorry Owners Federation – Tamil Nadu (SLOF-TN) has decided to stop operations to Puducherry from 6 a.m. on Wednesday (July 17) urging the Puducherry government to provide necessary infrastructure to park vehicles and basic amenities for the crew on the 37 acres set aside in 2008 for a truck terminal, president of federation K. Nallathambi told The Hindu.

Mr. Nallathambi said the issue had reached the point of a strike because the Puducherry government recently decided to allocate 25 acres for an IT park project, out of the 37 acres for the truck terminal.

The decision to go on an indefinite strike followed a meeting the truckers had with the Puducherry Chief Minister in April, a day’s token strike in May and a hunger strike on June 17.

Mr. Nallathambi said lorry booking agents in Tamil Nadu stopped booking consignments to Puducherry on Monday.