KARACHI: Cargo transport service remained suspended in the city for the second consecutive day as the city’s largest cargo transporting vehicles owners, the Karachi Goods Carriers Association (KGCA), went on a two-day strike, protesting against an increasing number of missing containers.
A meeting of all transporters associations has been called on Tuesday, after which the KGCA will go on a countrywide strike for an indefinite period of time.
“We have written letters to every government official, from the peon to the president, and we had meetings with all the relevant officials but nothing has been done to resolve our problems,” said Muhammad Khalid Khan, the president of KGCA. “A single-day strike causes us millions of rupees in losses but we were forced to take these steps as our business was going to be ruined.”
He added that their vehicles and drivers have no protection on roads within the city and other parts of the province. Their drivers are kidnapped and brutally tortured and the trucks and containers are looted. Five trucks have gone missing in Surjani Town and Gulshan-e-Maymar within three days, he added.
“The police is using our containers to block roads to control the law and order situation, so when riots break out, people torch our trucks and containers and we get nothing from the government in compensation,” he said, adding that around 200 containers and trucks have been taken over by the Sindh police for security during Ashura.
He also accused the police of stopping their trucks unnecessarily and forcing the drivers to pay at least Rs3,000 each time for their release. The motorway police are also charging unnecessary fines from their drivers, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2012.