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Lorry owners call off strike in Karnataka

Bangalore: Lorry owners in Karnataka yesterday called off their strike after a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah but sand transporters would continue with the stir till the government's final decision on the permit issue.Siddaramaiah held
PTI January 14, 2014 10:05 IST
PTI
Bangalore: Lorry owners in Karnataka yesterday called off their strike after a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah but sand transporters would continue with the stir till the government's final decision on the permit issue.

Siddaramaiah held a meeting of lorry owners and agents associations in a bid to end the state-wide transport strike launched on the midnight of Saturday in support of sand transporters, who are on strike for the last 24 days in protest against the state government's new sand policy.  

The meeting was attended by Home Minister K J George, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and representatives of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners' and Agents Association.

Sand transporters are seeking permits for sand transportation besides, asking government for withdrawal of criminal cases booked against them.

The strike saw an escalation since Saturday midnight after goods transporters moving petroleum products and food grains, tourist taxis, maxi cabs and cabs transporting employees to companies joined the strike in solidarity.

Government maintains that sand mining is posing environmental concerns and it cannot permit unlimited sand extraction.

The federation is also demanding a comprehensive policy to ensure “legal transportation of sand”, besides monthly permits to truck operators so that sand transported legally is not seized and illegal transportation is checked.

After meeting the Chief Minister, Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents Association President G R Shanmugappa told PTI: “CM has agreed to most of our demands barring permit issue,so we have decided to call off the strike by commercial vehicles except those transporting sand and construction materials.”

“Strike by transporters ferrying sand and other construction material will continue as government has asked for one week time to come out with a decision on permit; we will continue unless the final verdict is out,” he added.