Truckers threaten to stop Kerala trucks carrying fish

The Lorry Owners and Transport Owners Association at Kundapur has threatened that if lorries from Karnataka are not allowed to carry fish, the lorries from Kerala carrying fish will not be allowed to enter the borders of Karnataka. A one-day agitation will be organised at Kerala border by temporarily closing down the fishing bunders in Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.

Speaking to media persons, Lorry Owners and Transport Owners Association (Kundapur) President Rajesh Kaveri said that the officials of RTO department in Kasargod are not allowing the lorries from Karnataka to carry fish across Kerala citing the reason of the recent accident that took place in Kasargod owing to the seepage of water spilled by fish carrying lorries. However, the reality is that the seepage water was discharged from lorries carrying fish from Kerala. The lorries from Kerala ply open without any cover, he said.

"This is injustice. Lorries from Karnataka are allowed to enter the Kerala boundary during night hours if the officials are bribed with Rs 3,000 to 5,000," he alleged.

"Since one month, we are facing problems with regard to the transport of the fish. Utmost
attention is taken to avoid the seepage water leaking from lorries by attaching iron sheets and also pipelines to the lorries. The decision made by the Kasargod officials has badly affected the fishermen from Goa, Ratnagiri, Karwar, Honnavar, Bhatkal, Malpe and Tadadi. It is the lorries from Kundapur that are engaged in business of transporting fishes right from Ratnagiri to Trivandrum. Lorry Owners and Transport Owners Association, Kundapur, is carrying out the business across 1200 kms stretch since 35 years. Our lorries have national permits," he added.

Kaveri said that Deputy Commissioner Dr M T Reju has assured to hold talks with Kasargod DC. “Besides, we have also raised the issue with District-in-Charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Jayaprakash Hegde and MLA Raghupathy Bhat,” he said.

"However, if decision over the issue is not taken within a week's time and fishes are not allowed to be taken to Kerala, we will stop all fishing activities across Karnataka and also in Maharastra and Goa and stage protest at the boundary of Kerala," he warned.

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