Dharamsala, January 14
The industrial associations of Tahliwal, Mehatpur and Amb in Una district have sought the intervention of DGP Sanjay Kundu against alleged ‘fleecing’ by truck and tempo unions. They allege that they are being forced to pay 3.5 times more freight rates as compared to other parts of the country.
The industrial associations allege that the truck and tempo unions have set up illegal checkposts in the district and are checking even the personal vehicles of the industrialists during evening hours. The police are not acting against the truck and tempo unions under political pressure, they say.
Meanwhile, the office-bearers of the industrial associations held a meeting with the DGP through video-conferencing today and apprised him of their problems.
CS Kapoor, president of the Mehatpur Industrial Association, said, “The truck and tempo unions park their vehicles in the no parking zone of the Mehatpur industrial area. Even when senior officials of the Industries Department tried to reason with the members of the unions against vehicle parking, they misbehaved with the officials. Members of the Tempo Operators Union set up illegal nakas near the industrial area and even check the private vehicles of the industrialists. We have brought the matter to the notice of the police but no action has been taken so far,” he alleged.
Rakesh Kaushal, president of the Industrial Association of Tahliwal, alleged that all truck unions in the state had reduced freight rates following the reduction in diesel prices in the country. However, in Una, the truck unions were not reducing their freight rates. “The industrialists of Una district are being forced to pay up to 3.5 times more freight rates as compared to other areas, affecting the viability of their products. The Himachal High Court has given clear directions to the district authorities that the truck unions cannot force the industrialists to hire their vehicles at higher rates. However, even the High Court orders are not being implemented,” he said.
Una SP Arjit Sen said that the police were duty bound to maintain law and order. In many cases, disputes over freights between the industrialists and the truck operators were civil in nature in which the police could not intervene. “However, we register cases when the truck operators or unions take law into their hands. In the past two years, eight cases have been registered against the truck operators, including two of extortion. We shall register cases in the event of violation of law. The DGP has also directed us to register cases if any person or union tries to break law,” he added.
Sources said that the DGP had asked the industrial associations to take up the matter with Minister for Transport and Industries Bikram Thakur or the officials of the Industries Department.
Unions have set up illegal checkposts
The industrial associations allege that the truck and tempo unions have set up illegal checkposts in the district and are checking even the personal vehicles of the industrialists during evening hours. The police are allegedly not acting against the truck and tempo unions under political pressure.