Assam truckers stop plying to three Meghalaya districts

SHILLONG, Feb 9 : Shortage of essential items looms large in three Meghalaya districts of Garo hills region with truckers from Assam halting operations to protest ‘extortion’ on highways by ‘illegal’ toll gates, weigh bridges and pollution testing centers.

Three districts of Garo hills face a threat of economic crisis as a fall-out of the agitation by the Goalpara District Truck Owners Association (GDTOA), which also has the backing of the Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners’ and Operators’ Association (MCTOOA).

About 550 trucks carrying coal and essential commodities, including LPG, enter the Garo hills region from Goalpara daily. While the coal-laden trucks have stopped plying from February 7, the association said all trucks would resort to the blockade from February 9.

Meghalaya Government sources said it has assured the truckers of addressing its grievances, but a GDTOA functionary maintained they would not withdraw the strike unless the government offered a permanent solution to the problem.

The GDTOA has been demanding that the Meghalaya government should dismantle all unauthorized toll-gates, weigh bridges and pollution testing centres on the national highway.