Traders support Transporters and Drivers’ Council (TDC) stand
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, July 01, 2010: Sticking to its gun not to ply the NH-39, Transporters and Drivers’ Council (TDC) today cautioned the goods trucks and inter-state passenger buses as well as the traders not to defy its decision.

The traders responsible for the procurement of goods on the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH 39 by sending trucks secretly have also consented not to defy the decision of the TDC, and have extended solidarity to the stand of the transporters and drivers during a meeting held today at the office of the TDC located at Gandhi Avenue here.

The apex body of the transporters, drivers and truck and inter-state bus owners reaffirmed the decision at the joint meeting with the traders, who also endorsed the decision of TDC, not to ply their vehicles unless and until the demands of the TDC were achieved.

The TDC is demanding payment of adequate compensations to the owners of the trucks that had been torched or damaged during the ban on Manipur bound vehicles by the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), and take up appropriate measures to free vehicles from all sorts of extortion in Nagaland by the Central and the Nagaland governments.

The businessmen endorsed the decision of the TDC following a marathon meeting which started from yesterday with the members of the apex body of transporters, vehicle owners and drivers.

The meeting prominently discussed the myriad problems faced by the truckers, transporters and inter-state buses while plying the NH 39. With the arrival of a unanimous decision, the meeting decided to take collective responsibility in translating the decision of the TDC into reality, and to stop traversing the route after all the vehicles stranded on NH 39 now have reached Imphal by tonight.

The transporters, drivers and vehicle owners who took part in the meeting stressed that if the businessmen are ready to compensate for the trucks damaged in Nagaland during the NSF's ban, they are ready to resume plying the NH 39.However, those businessmen who were present at the meeting could not give a positive reply, Haridas said.

Later, they agreed that they have no objection to the decision of the TDC and they will not press drivers and transporters to lift their goods from Dimapur or elsewhere and proceed on NH-39 if they (truck owners and drivers) are ready to confront all odds in ferrying their items on the NH-53, he added.

The meeting finally resolved endorsed the decision of the TDC and reaffirmed that goods ferrying trucks and inter-state buses will not ply until and unless the Central government and Nagaland government paid compensations to the owners of the vehicles damaged in Nagaland and free them from all kinds of extortions.

Drivers and vehicles owners also assured that they will take the route on Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-53 and drew the attention of the Central and Manipur government to speed up improvement works of the NH-53 as soon as possible, the general secretary of TDC told reporters.

Following the apology offered by the businessmen, the TDC has also given time to the truck owners and drivers to call out all the vehicles which were on the way on NH-39 within today itself and stopped taking the route totally from tomorrow.

“We will not take any responsible for any untoward incident on the vehicles plying secretly on the NH-39 violating the decision,” Haridas said adding that if they continue to violate the decision, TDC will stop pressing the Central and Nagaland government to compensate the eight trucks torched in Nagaland during bans.

Meanwhile, a report received from the Mao gate said that a total of 74 loaded trucks have cross Mao gate and headed for Imphal on the NH-39 today while 48 trucks crossed the Mao gate and headed for Dimapur to procure commercial goods.

On the other hand, around 50 loaded trucks including bullet tankers (bulk LPG careers) have also headed Imphal from Jiribam on the NH-53 today.

It is pertinent to mention here that even after around two weeks of lifting of the 68-day long economic blockade by ANSAM and lifting of ban on Manipur vehicles by NSF, people of Manipur are yet to relief from scarcity of essential commodities as TDC decided not to resume transport vehicle services on NH-39 putting up their demands for compensation and control of extortion menace on the NH-39. Prices of the available essential commodities and vehicles fuel are also sky rocketing till date with rice per kg cost above Rs 25, petrol cost Rs 100 to Rs 120 a litre and LPG gas cylinder cost above Rs 1000.