Talks between goods transporters, federal govt fail

KARACHI: The All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association has supported the strike of United Goods Transporters Alliance (UGTA) and threatened to go on strike in 72 hours if the UGTA’s demands aren’t met.

Negotiations of the UGTA, alliance of 18 goods transporters associations in Karachi, failed after which the alliance has decided to present their new line of action. The UGTA is a platform where all the goods transporters associations raise their concerns together. According to a joint statement released to the media by the alliance on Sunday, the goods transporters are going through “the worst crisis” in their history.

The All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association along with Inter-city Bus Owners Sindh have extended their support to the strike of the alliance, according to the spokesman of UGTA, Imdad Naqvi. He said that the federal government is bent on keeping overloading policy while the transporters want to end it.

Speaking to The News, All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association’s General Secretary, Khan Zada, shared that they completely support all the legitimate demands of the UGTA and if the federal government did not resolve their issues in 72 hours, they will have no option but to go on strike as well.

At the Karachi Port Trust, the process of cargo handling is completely stopped, he shared. Mobility of national and international commodities is also at halt and that will remain so until their demands are met. “Our strike call is peaceful. Our foremost demand is the implementation of axle load regime,” he said and added that they consider the notification of heavy fines against goods transporters issued in January this year an act of extortion.

The axle load regime is the total load of a truck divided by the number of axles it has. There is an axle for every pair of tyres in the truck. After dividing the total load of the truck by the number of axles it has, one gets the axle load, based on which the truck’s load is determined.

There are two international ports in Karachi. The goods transporters are deprived of any parking area for their trucks and car carriers. The spokesman also demanded to open the Mai Kolachi Road for the goods transporters which, he said, is the only route between the Karachi Port Trust and Bin Qasim Port.

Due to the strike, several trucks carrying edibles, essential commodities such as coal, rice, grains, medicines, fruits, meat and vegetables, and electronic items are now stuck at different ports.

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