Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: At last, there is some respite for the lorry owners and agents for truck operators who used to park their vehicles in Bhavanipuram lorry stand, which belongs to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC). The lorry operators can now park their lorries and trucks at the same site until the land is used for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project.

Temporary relief

The Chief Minister’s office (CMO) on October 3 gave a direction that the lorry operators should be permitted to use the land for parking purposes. The CMO, in response to a request from Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal on September 27, stated that Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy had desired that the lorry owners should be permitted to use the land till it was used for the BRTS project.

The VMC did not renew the lease to the Lorry Owners’ Association, which was managing the stand till last year. Instead, the VMC authorities asked the lorry operators to shift to Ibrahimpatnam truck terminal, which is about 25 km from the present stand. The lorry owners, however, maintained that the lorry and truck terminal at Ibrahimpatnam was not a convenient place either for a common man or for them.

VMC authorities maintained that they could not afford to lose a prime land of a value of Rs. 67 crores and planned to use the land for the BRTS purposes. There was a hue and cry, and lorry owners sat on a relay hunger strike.