Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 20:
The Odisha State Truck Owners’ Federation (OSTOF) today threatened to launch a statewide stir from the midnight on June 9 if the state government fails to fulfill its 11-point charter of demands before that.
In a press briefing here, general secretary of the Federation Rabi Satpathy said the Federation has strongly protested the action of the Transport commissioner, who, in an order, has directed cancellation of fitness certificate, road permit and the registration certificate of a truck without any investigation in case of an accident.
“The Association demands the revocation of the order with immediate effect,” he said.
More than 1.3 lakh trucks would stay off the roads bringing vital transport operations to a standstill if the illegal circular is not withdrawn, Satpathy said.
Satpathy also informed that the Transport department has not revised the transport charges since 2008.
“Though we have reiterated our demands for revision of rent, the state government has not paid any heed to it,” he pointed out.
Satpathy also alleged that the truck owners and drivers are being harassed at inter-state border check gates.
“Apart from this, the Transport department has also imposed restrictions on the movement of trucks from the neighbouring states to Odisha. As about 10,000 trucks from other states enter Odisha everyday, imposing restrictions on them by the department is grossly unfair,” he pointed out.
Referring to the new rule of the Transport department for renewal of driving license under which a truck driver has to undergo a seven-day driving test, he wanted to know the motive behind such a provision.
Replying to the statewide agitation threat by the Federation, Commerce and Transport minister Ramesh Majhi said the state government will have a meeting with the Association very soon to resolve the issue.
It may be noted that Odisha Bus Owners’ Association has already announced an indefinite strike from June 5 if their demands are not fulfilled before that. The major demand of the Association is a mechanism whereby there is automatic revision of bus fares in the state every time fuel prices are revised.