Chidambaram’s assurance yielded no result: Truckers
Toll gate issue to hit Parliament
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The issue of “government-sponsored extortion” along the highways in Meghalaya is all set to reach the floor of the Parliament with the Opposition BJP and CPI(M) giving an assurance to the aggrieved truckers to highlight their plight.
“The BJP and CPI (M) leaders have assured us to take up the issue of illegal collection from the coal-laden trucks along the national highways in the State during the forthcoming monsoon session of the Parliament,” All North East Commercial Truck Owners’ and Operators’ Association (ANECTOOA) general secretary Augustine Shanpru told reporters here on Saturday.
Leaders of the Association were in New Delhi recently to apprise Central leaders of the seriousness of the issue of toll gates in Meghalaya.
During their stay in the national capital from June 21 to July 1, the team met Opposition Leader in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury who promised that the Opposition would take up the issue in the Parliament.
“Swaraj will raise the issue in the Lok Sabha while Yechury will highlight the truckers’ plight in the Rajya Sabha,” Shanpru said.
The Association also apprised the Central leaders of politicians’ involvement in the functioning of illegal toll gates despite a recent ban imposed by the erstwhile DD Lapang-led MUA Government. “We told the Central leaders that the illegal practice affect not only the truckers, but also have a widespread impact on the common people’s life as the extortion from trucks ultimately results in increase of prices of the essential commodities,” Shanpru said.
The Association submitted separate memoranda to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi demanding Central intervention to end the menace especially on NH 62 that runs through Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills district.
Besides, Swaraj and Yechury, the truckers’ delegation met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Rajya Sabha Opposition Leader Arun Jaitley, who is also the head of Standing Committee on Transport, the MPs from Meghalaya and senior officials of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway.
Shanpru lamented the fact that an assurance from Chidambaram that he would talk to Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on the issue could not have any impact on the illegal toll gates till date.
The Association demanded for an order from the Centre to the State Government to shut all the illegal check gates along NH 62 and also to institute a CBI inquiry into the alleged nexus between politicians and the toll gate operators.
SOurce: The Shillong Times