Over 90,000 trucks off the road in Punjab
Over 90,000 trucks stayed off the road in Punjab on Sunday to protest against the State government’s move to disband truck unions. There was a complete ‘chakka jam’ in the state as 93,000 trucks stayed off the road, All Punjab Truck Operators’ Union, president, Happy Sandhu said.
“We neither transported goods nor foodgrain in protest against the State government’s move of disbanding the 134 truck unions operating in the State,” said Sandhu.
Truck operators have been protesting against a recent decision of the Punjab cabinet, which had approved the Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelisation Rules), 2017, which bars goods carriage operators from forming cartels or unions in the state.
The truckers’ protest remained by and large peaceful, but protesting truck operators blocked traffic at a few places, said Sandhu. The truckers also raised anti-government slogans at several places, he said.
Sandhu said the truckers will intensify their protest if the State government did not roll back its decision. “Punjab Markfed Chairman Amarjit Singh Samra today met us at Nakodar. He assured us that the issue would be addressed,” said Sandhu.
Truck operators claimed that because of the abolition of truck unions, small truck operators would suffer the most as the big companies would take over the operations.
There are at present 134 truck unions comprising 93,000 trucks in the state, he said, adding that 70 per cent of the truck operators were engaged in the transportation of foodgrain.