On Friday, when there was no sign of withdrawal of the nation-wide strike by lorry owners, a section of operators in Kozhikode district delivered 30 truckloads of essential ration commodities at ration shops. The gesture was on the request of District Collector U.V. Jose.
District Supply Officer K. Manoj Kumar said: “The lorry operators did not charge anything extra for delivering the goods.” Lorry owners called off their strike on Friday night following talks in New Delhi.
The week-long strike had hit sales at most fruit and vegetable outlets in the State. A section of lorry operators, owing allegiance to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, accepted the Collector’s request, considering the difficulties faced by low-income families.
All Kerala Retail Ration Dealers’ Association general secretary T. Muhammed Ali said the positive gesture shown by lorry operators ensured sufficient stock at all the 970 ration shops in the district.
Mr. Ali also expressed concern over the disruption in supply owing to technical glitches in the Electronic Point of Sales (EpoS) System server. “No ration dealer will be able to supply commodities without rectifying the error. On Friday, the technical issue disrupted ration distribution across the State,” he said.
Meanwhile, leaders of Kerala State Lorry Owners’ Welfare Association said the discussions held in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on the demands were fruitful. They added that the strike was withdrawn only after getting an assurance that a committee would study operators’ issues.
“It was an informal discussion initiated by government functionaries with leaders of the national-level coordination committee on various demands. We are happy that the main demands were duly considered by the authorities,” said K.K. Hamsa, president of the association.
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