Kochi: Toll suspended; container stir ends

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Current Affairs

The strike was held from Sunday with the Container Monitoring Committee opposing the “high toll”.

Muhammed Y Safirulla, district collector.

Kochi: The indefinite strike by Container trailer operators was withdrawn on Friday after Collector Muhammed Y Safirulla ordered for suspension of toll collection along the Container Road (NH 966 A) till February 12. The decision to withdraw the six-day old strike was taken in a meet held at Collectorate after the collector informed protestors that he had sought intervention of the state government on the issue.

“No toll will be levied on containers with 20 to 40 ft length till 8 am on February 12. The district administration sought intervention by state government after talks held with protestors twice on February six and seven on the matter failed to yield any result,” Safirulla said.

The Container Monitoring Committee, a body comprising stakeholders like lorry owners, workers, and trade union leaders, said they would submit a memorandum to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during his visit to the city on February 10 and 11. “Also we’ve been assured that the toll fees in future will be met by the Customs Brokers Association, who arranges trailers for container movements,” said Charles George, Convenor of the Committee.

Meanwhile, with nearly 2000 container lorries staying off the road for the last five days, the Cochin Port on Friday dispatched 30 containers to Beypore near Kozhikode through coastal mode. “A total of 26 containers with tiles and four with rice were transported in River Sea Vessel ‘Great Sea Vembanad’. The same was necessitated due to the strike by the Container trailer owners. The RSV brought 43 empty containers in its return journey,” a spokesperson said.

The strike was held from Sunday with the Container Monitoring Committee opposing the “high toll”, Rs 375 for a single journey, for using the 17-km stretch from Kalamassery to Bolgatty.