Lorry owners threaten Udupi bandh on Nov 22

Lorry owners threaten Udupi bandh on Nov 22

A district-wide bandh will be held on November 22, if deputy commissioner fails to resolve the sand crisis by November 21, Udupi district Lorry Owners Association Praveen Suvarna said.

He told mediapersons here, on Tuesday, that Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis had sought three-week time to solve the problem. But the association decided to extend the time limit up to 30 days until November 21.

The deputy commissioner has assured of holding talks with the government as she had not been able to set right the issues due to National Green Tribunal’s order. She has also promised to initiate process of floating tenders for sand mining at the gram panchayat level, he added.

Suvarna added that the DC had promised to initiate measures both in CRZ and non-CRZ areas by holding the talks with the government.

“A bandh call given by the construction workers and other associations on October 25 will not be supported by Udupi district Lorry Owners’ Association,” he clarified.

Suvarna said the association does not agree with the idea of introducing sand mining in nine sand blocks, as there were more than 179 licence holders. These approved numbers for sand blocks can only accommodate 60 licence holders. The sand bars would be evacuated within a week and the price of the sand would shoot sky-high. “The Association also condemns the move to fit GPS in the lorries and trucks.”

Suvarna said truckers had paid Rs 10,000 and had installed GPS in their vehicles. It was only later that the district administration realised that the previous Company was not ISO certified. Thus district administration wants another ISO Certified company to install the GPS. “This is unfair,’’ he said.

He also strongly condemned the imposing of penalty on the vehicles caught transporting sand without permits and insisted on spot fine. He said penalty was too high.