Goods Transporters have ended a strike that lasted eight days after successful negotiations, the government has decided to resume the implementation of axle load law.
At a meeting with the governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail, container transport associations announced the end of the strike. Senior officials of the National Highway Authority, Port Authority of Qasim, Karachi Port Trust, Ministry of Industries and Ministry of Communication also present at the meeting.
“Authorities accepted our 10-point agenda, hence, we ended the strike, In those 10 points, the biggest demand of the transporters the implementation of axle load law,” said Karachi Goods Carrier Association General Secretary Ghulam Muhammad Afridi.
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The axle load law was passed in 2002 and implementation started in 2014. However, the government-backed down when the industry put pressure on it last year. He stressed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is keen to enforce the law.
“The government was certain to get the industry to comply with the law, hence, we changed our vehicles to meet the government’s new limits,” he said. Elaborating, he said that a 48-foot-long trailer, which was carrying 80,000 tonnes of coal, had been changed to 35 feet because the longer trailer had more weight, which could damage highways. He believed that the new 35-foot vehicles were good for the roads, but not for the industry, as they transported fewer goods (50,000 tonnes), resulting in higher costs for exporters.
“The other important issue that the highway authorities had stopped drivers possessing old hand-made licenses, which they received in small cities before digitalization took over and this was not our fault, We have also demanded that license-issuing centers be set up at truck stands where both the stakeholders can meet,” said Afridi.
He revealed that the authorities also agreed to suspend a recent decision on imposing 10 times higher penalties on highways
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