Truck owners threaten morcha at IFFI venue

Truck owners associations from Navelim, Amona and Sanquelim are up in arms against the organising of the IFFI in Goa, as the truck owners in Goa are in a distressing situation due to the ban on all mining activity in the state. They have decided to take out a morcha to the IFFI venue at Panaji. This was informed by a truck owner and Navelim Congress block chief, Mr Digambar Naik.

The decision to take out a morcha to the IFFI venue was taken at a special meeting of truck owners association from Bicholim taluka, which was held at the office of former Sanquelim Congress MLA, Mr Pratap Gawas at Navelim on Monday evening. The meeting was presided over by the president of Goa State Truck Owners Association, Mr Nilkanth Gawas. More than a 100 truck owners from Navelim, Amona and surrounding areas were also present at the meeting.

In the meeting the truck owners condemned the act of the state government to organise the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, at the same time when the truck owners in Goa are facing acute hardships and miseries due to the mining ban. Speaking to the reporters, Mr Naik stated that they have no faith in the existing government as it has made no efforts so far, to solve the problem of the truck owners and a large number people related to the mining trade in the State. “By organising the IFFI in the state at this tough time, the government has proved to be insensitive as far as the woes of the truck owners and other related segments is concerned,” said Mr Naik.

The truck owners also expressed anger at the state government for increasing the vehicle tax from Rs 9000 to Rs 12300, that too when they do not have enough money for day-to-day sustenance. The members also requested the state government to support them by providing them urgent financial relief. The truck owners threatened to embark on an intense agitation if their issue is not solved on priority.

However, the Sanquelim MLA, Dr Pramod Sawant, stated that it is a false presumption of the truck owners that the state government is not taking any initiative to solve their issue. He said, “Presently the government has formed a committee under Justice Khadeparkar to sort out this crisis and the report will be submitted to the Supreme Court, and the matter will be finalised thereafter. So, it is baseless to make allegation that the state government is not making any efforts to solve the issue.”

He also added that it is the central Congress Minister, Mr Jayanti Natrajan, who was responsible for the existing crisis. [NT]