Rift surfaces among transport bodies
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 22 2011:
Without taking names newly formed Transporter and Driver Forum Manipur president Konthoujam Tombi sought cooperation of all concerned in the Forum's effort to provide solace to drivers and vehicle owners affected by the ongoing economic blockade.
Speaking to media-persons at Keishampat today, Tombi hinted that representatives of some transport organisations have been commenting to the media which is likely to confuse transport operators, drivers/assistant drivers as well as vehicle owners.
claiming that the Government agreed to extend ex-gratia to drivers/assistant drivers killed during the course of the economic blockade and compensate owners of those vehicles either burnt down or damaged by blockade supporters only due to the endeavour of the Forum, he said prior to formation of the Forum representatives of five different transport organisations held meeting with the Chief Minister on two occasions.
The president maintained that before the Forum comprising of various transport bodies was constituted representatives of All Driver Welfare Association, All Manipur Petroleum Tanker Drivers' Union, Imphal-Silchar Road Transport Welfare Society, National Highway-53 Truck Owners' Association and All Manipur Inter State Bus Association met Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and other Govt officials consequently resulting in the Govt assuring to translate into action the demand for compensation and other issues.
After formal constitution of the Forum a four-point charter of demand had been handed to the Chief Minister on September 5, Tombi informed adding it was followed by a meeting between the forum delegates and the Chief Minister on September 18 and 19 .
The charter of demand included the Forum's proposal for adequate ROP and security escort, provision of atleast a recovery van to the convoy of goods carriers, provide ambulance as well as pay compensation to vehicle owners which evoked positive response from the CM, he stated.
Consequent to the advice of the Government to furnish relevant documents related to injuries/casualties suffered by the drivers/assistant drivers to the Transport Department the Forum is in the process of preparing a detailed report, Tombi said while expressing that amid such a juncture some other transport organisation conveying through the media to approach them (not Forum) on the issue is not only unfortunate but is also bound to sent confusing message to all concerned.
During the media briefing one Th Brojen, whose four trucks loaded with cement were among six trucks burnt down by suspected economic blockade supporters at Oinamlong area on September 16, was also present.
Brojen said he was greatly relieved upon hearing that the Govt has approved for compensating damage suffered by the vehicle owners and conveyed profound gratitude to the Forum.