Kolkata/Siliguri Aug 19: Import and export of goods on surface transport was today badly affected as the truckers across West Bengal resorted to "chakka bandh" demanding implementation of the 'Revision of Safe Axle Weights for Goods Vehicles' and stopping of "undue" harassment by the police and illegal taxation" from extortionists. As estimated 800,000 truckers joined the strike across the state since dawn and those truckers defying the strike call were forced to park the vehicles across the road on the highways causing bottle neck of the traffic. Import and exports on trucks, specially the perishable goods, have been affected with neighbouring nations like Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan as fleet of trucks have been stranded across the borders roads on both sides.
Domestic transportation of goods and essentials between Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Sikkim and northeastern states was also affected. Federation of West Bengal Truck Operator Association and other organisations involved in truck business called the strike demanding immediate implementation of GST on petrol and diesel and implementation of Revision of Safe Axle Weight Goods Vehicles. Many truckers stranded on the highways said they had no prior information regarding the sudden strike and now having tough time on the way amid monsoon rains.
"If the strike did not lift immediately then hundreds of vehicles may be rendered immovable on the highway fearing scarcity of fuel and breakdown of battery of the car." They alleged many ;pro-strikers also forced the willing drivers to stop truck on the way and there was no help from the administration to rescue them.UNI