Transportation and other related operations came to a halt after four truck operators' societies suspended the loading and unloading of cement and clinker, to register a protest against the alleged intransigent attitude of the JP Cement Factory management over the pending payments of freight transported at Bagga in Arki sub-division of the district on Friday.
The agitated operators demanded immediate release of the freight charges due since September 21 as they
were finding it difficult to make their both ends meet. They said they were also not able to make the loan instalments, which they had raised from several financial institutions.
The operators said after repeated hike in petroleum products and imposition of ban on overloading, the running cost of ther vehicles had increased manifold and under these conditions the transporters were finding it difficult to run the trucks.
Currently, four truck operators' societies-The Mangal Land Losers, JP Affected Truck Operators Society, Panch Dev Truck Operators Society and Rani Kotla Truck Operators Society-are engaged in the transportation of the material at JP Cement Company, Bagga.
The protesting operators, who earlier assembled outside the company premises to chalk out their strategy, discussed the matter and arrived at a conclusion that the transporters would suspend the loading and unloading operations, including other related works, till the clearance of their pending payments.
Later, they also staged a dharna outside the company premises and raised anti-management and anti-government slogans.
“The operators have raised the issue with the company officials for the past couple of weeks, but despite repeated requests, the officials were dilly-dallying matter on one or other pretext,” Mangal gram panchayat pardhan NL Chauhan said.
Chauhan, who is also a transporter, said as per the existing schedule, the company was making payments after every week till September 21. But after the said time, no payments were made, forcing the operators to go on an indefinite strike.
The truck operators have also stressed upon the need to increase the freight charges as the prices of diesel had risen. They said most of the local panchayat farmers had adopted the business of transportation after the government had acquired their cultivable land for setting up of cement factory in the area.
“After the acquisition of the agriculture land, we were fully dependent on the transport business, but the recent hike in petroleum products has enhanced the running cost of vehicles manifold,” they added.
Meanwhile, company director J Sheru said the payments could not be made owing to frequent holidays and that the issue would be resolved shortly.