Equally striking is the plight of lorry crew

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temporary halt: Manjakuppam grounds in the heart of Cuddalore town has come handy for drivers to park the lorries owing to the strike.
temporary halt: Manjakuppam grounds in the heart of Cuddalore town has come handy for drivers to park the lorries owing to the strike.

A.V. Raghunathan

Cuddalore: A large number of lorries are idling at the Manjakuppam grounds here owing to their strike. Some of the crew have already run out of cash to meet daily expenses.

K. Thiagarajan (32) of Thirupattur, a lorry driver, said it was difficult for the crew to remain at one place. Uncertainty prevailed over the duration of the strike and the thought of staying away from their homes was weighing heavily on them.

Some of the drivers, who were on a short trip, may not have sufficient money to spend on basic requirements for days together and hence, they would have to live off from the munificence of their fellow drivers.

Since the vegetable markets had adequate stocks to meet the demands, the prices rose only marginally, Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 a kg. Vendors at Anna Market in Manjakuppam said customers had already stocked upon vegetables for a week and hence there was no great demand as of now.

However, the situation could turn worse if there were no arrivals of fresh vegetables in the next two days.

The fishing community too has not been spared from the strike because the movement of fish to Kerala and Karnataka and even to local markets was affected.


According to S. Mathialagan of Thazhanguda, it was double whammy for fishermen: diesel shortage and lack of demand.

Mechanised boat operators could not get adequate fuel for the vessels.

As against the daily requirement of 1,200 litres per boat for a five-day sea voyage, the government was supplying hardly 50 litres at a subsidised price.

Therefore, the fishermen would have to look for the supply elsewhere by paying the market price.

But with the problems in fuel supply, the fishermen had to curtail their fishing ventures.

Mr. Mathialagan said the rich haul of fish varieties such as mathi, kanuvai and sankar were being sold at discounted price, for Rs 30 to Rs 40 a kg as against the normal price of Rs 100 a kg because no trucks were available to transport them to the upcountry markets.

The unsold fish was added on to the mounting stocks of dry fish.

Farm operations too were affected, as tractors were difficult to find and so also the tractor-trailors for carrying sugarcane to mills.

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