Protest against hike in charge by Lorry Owners Association
: Goods traffic will come to a standstill in Kozhikode on Friday following a decision by a coordination committee of various forums of commerce and industry against loading goods in protest against the 11 per cent hike in charge announced by the Lorry Owners Association.
C.A. Ummer Koya, president of The Malabar Produce Merchants' Association, said merchants were ready to pay more commensurate with the rise in diesel prices. Diesel prices had been raised by Rs.2.08 only, and hence lorry charge could be hiked by 1 to 1.5 per cent within the State and 1 to 2 per cent outside the State. However, the Lorry Owners Association had imposed a hefty hike of 11 per cent, he said. Moreover, lorry charge had been raised six months ago on account of spare parts, registration, employees' pension and such, said K. Hasan Koya, former State general secretary of Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi.
Lorry turn system
The merchants' association also criticised the lorry turn system in Kozhikode city. Under the system, merchants in the city shall use only lorries in the city to transport their goods. They cannot hire lorries from the neighbouring districts or suburbs or use the ones returning to other States after delivering goods in the city. On the other hand, the lorries in the city can accept business from other towns and districts.
Mr. Ummer Koya said the Lorry Owners Association had violated most of the restrictions imposed by the Suraj Commission with regard to turn system, hike in lorry charges, availability of lorries and regions not to be included in the turn system, he added.
Merchants' Association general secretary P.K.V. Abdul Aziz and Coordination Committee convener I.P. Pushparaj were present at the press meet.