Transporters set truck on fire in Jalandhar’s Nakodar to protest move to disband unions | punjab$jalandhar | Hindustan Times
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Transporters set truck on fire in Jalandhar’s Nakodar to protest move to disband unions

After a meeting in Nakodar, truckers announce a series of protests across Punjab from Aug 4

punjab Updated: Aug 03, 2017 10:54 IST
HT Correspondent
The burning truck in Nakodar on Wednesday. Truckers also blocked the Moga-Shahkot road for half-an-hour.
The burning truck in Nakodar on Wednesday. Truckers also blocked the Moga-Shahkot road for half-an-hour. (HT Photo)

Intensifying their agitation against the state government’s decision to disband truck unions, irate transporters set a truck on fire during a protest in Nakodar town of the district on Wednesday.

Operators from across the state had gathered at Nakodar to stage a protest and formulate their future strategy against the government’s decision. During the protest, a group of truckers set a goods carrier on fire while shouting slogans against the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government.

TRUCKERS’ PROTEST PROGRAMME
  • Aug 4: To burn copies of the government notification banning unions, at all sub-divisional headquarters
  • Aug 8: A state-level protest will be held outside the district administrative complex in Jalandhar
  • Aug 16: More trucks will be set on fire in protests at five districts, which are yet to be finalised
  • Aug 18: District-level dharans will be held across the state Aug 23 A one-day ‘Chakka Jam’ will be observed when truckers will park their vehicles on the roads to ensure a “complete shutdown”.

The Punjab cabinet had recently approved the Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelisation) Rules, 2017, which bar goods carrier operators from forming cartels or unions.

Addressing the protesters, All Punjab Truck Operators’ Union president Happy Sandhu said the decision to disband truck unions has adversely affected small transporters. “We have decided to hold a series of protests across the state in this regard.”

He said the union would burn copies of the government notification in this regard, at all sub-divisional headquarters on August 4 and a state-level protest would be held on August 8 outside the district administrative complex in Jalandhar. “More trucks will be set on fire in a protest on August 16 at five districts. District-level dharans will be held across the state from August 18,” Sandhu said.

“Truck operators will observe a one-day ‘Chakka Jam’ on August 23 when we will park our trucks on the roads to ensure a complete shutdown,” he said. Later, union members also blocked the Moga-Shahkot highway for about half an hour.

Bhupinder Singh, whose truck was burnt during the protest, said, “I had purchased the truck last year for my son Hamraj Singh. We set it on fire against the state government’s decision to disband truck unions.” There are 134 truck unions in the state with over 90,000 trucks. Around 70% of them are engaged in the transportation of foodgrains. Earlier, over 90,000 trucks remained off the roads on July 3 against the state government’s decision to disband truck unions. Operators are demanding immediate rollback of the decision.