Truckers' stir sparks fear of foodgrains shortage

Truckers' stir sparks fear of foodgrains shortage

Supply of grains, pulses from other states to Mysuru APMC stopped

As the strike of the lorry owners entered the sixth day, on Monday, there was fear among the traders and also the consumers of the city that there will be scarcity of foodgrains and pulses.

The arrival of foodgrains from other states to the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committe (APMC) yard at Bandipalya on the outskirts of the city has been stopped since three days. Except for vegetables, no produce is arriving at the APMC yard. Similarly, transportation of vegetables from the yard to neighbouring states is unhindered.

Supply of tur dal from Kalaburagi, Bidar and Gujarat, bengal gram from Madhya Pradesh, and rice from Raichur, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal has been stopped. In the same way, the transportation of horse gram from the yard to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and other states has been stalled. There is no change in the supply of water, medicines, milk and vegetables. However, over 1,500 trucks have been parked at various places, including the truck terminal at Bandipalya, Bannimantap Railway Goods Shed and at the Old RMC yard.

According to sources, the truck owners have refused to lift cement and fertilisers from the Bannimantap Railway Goods Shed, 230 loads each, which have arrived by goods trains on Saturday. Goods Shed Lorry Owners Association president Abdul Khader Sahid said, they have received requests to lift the loads, but the association has clarified that the loads cannot be lifted until the demands of reduction of insurance premium and RTO fees are fulfilled.

Sources said, the supply of gas (LPG) will not be affected in the city. “LPG is supplied to the city from Mangaluru through pipelines. So, the truck protest will not have any effect on the LPG supply,” said the sources. However, Petroleum Distributors Association S K Dinesh said, the association is morally supporting the protest. If the governments do not fulfil the demands, petroleum tankers will also join the protest, he said.

In-charge Deputy Director for Food and Civil Supplies C L Anand said, the stocks of provisions, slated for distribution in fair price shops to ration card holders, is sufficient for April month quota. The public distribution system of the department will not be affected by the strike, he said.

The district administration is learnt to have made arrangements to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the lorry owners and is awaiting the State government’s directions, if the people are inconvenienced.