The Lorry Transport Workers Coordination Committee has threatened to stage an agitation in protest against the alleged failure of the authorities to provide basic facilities to lorries reaching the city with goods from various destinations, despite the demand being raised for several years.
The office-bearers of the committee, at a press meet here on Monday, said they would hold a token strike in the city on November 30 as part of the agitation programme. “Lorry owners, workers, and lorry agency employees will take out a march to the city Corporation office the same day,” N.P.C. Aboobacker, convenor of the committee, said.
He said the absence of a proper lorry-stand or sufficient parking facilities for the hundreds of lorries and trucks that reached the city had been giving the lorry workers a tough time. “We are now forced to take up agitations,” he said.
Mr. Aboobacker said nearly 500 lorries with goods left for various destinations from the city and as many entered it every day.
However, there was no proper parking facility for these lorries either on National Highway or in the city. “The one and only lorry stand in the city, which is around 50 years old, can accommodate only 28 lorries at a time,” he said.
The remaining lorries parked in the Valiyangadi area or on the sides of Beach Road, Cherooty Road, or Court Road.
Mr. Aboobacker said the Corporation, however, charged these lorries “stand-fee.” These were also often fined by the police for “unauthorised parking.”
The committee members alleged that the authorities, including the Corporation and the State government, were not responding to their demand for setting up a lorry-stand in the city or arrange parking facilities by the sides of the NH, even after prospective sites for a stand were identified by them.
“There are no lorry-stands or proper parking facilities anywhere between Kochi and Mangalore,” the committee members said.
They warned of an indefinite strike if the authorities did not respond to their demands.