|The fate of a newly introduced transport arrangement at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which triggered a four-day strike last week by the truckers’ associations servicing the port, will be decided in a fortnight at a high-level meeting of Finance, Commerce and Shipping Ministries.|
JNPT authorities told truckers’ associations and political party representatives at a meeting on Tuesday that a decision to scrap the new transport arrangement - a demand put forward by the agitating transport associations - will have to be taken by the Central government, according to Pravin Paithankar, President of the Maharashtra Heavy Vehicle and Inter-State Container Operators’ Association, who attended the meeting.
India’s biggest container gateway granted exclusive rights to four transporters selected through a tender for moving direct port delivery (DPD) containers to five different hinterland destinations and the new arrangement was flagged off from May 1.
Some 1,000 small transporters owning about 17,000 vehicles who have been running the show so far opposed the new transport plan, arguing that it would “create monopoly of a few transporters and jeopardise the livelihood of small transporters”.
The new transport plan, though, was yet to take off fully because the four transporters - JWC Logistics Park Pvt Ltd, Vora Transfreight Services, Royal Translines Pvt Ltd and Ekta Enterprises -are not “fully equipped”. It was discussing the finer details of the exclusive arrangement with the importers, who also have the freedom to make their own transport arrangements without going with any of the four selected by the JNPT.