Thursday 08 Dec 2022

Hundreds of trucks stranded along Goa-Belagavi route at Chorla

THE GOAN NETWORK | SEPTEMBER 27, 2022, 12:16 AM IST

BELAGAVI/VALPOI

After regularly defying orders from the North Goa Collector banning the movement of heavy vehicles along the Goa-Belagavi road via Chorla, truck operators were in for a shock on Sunday night when transport officials began strictly enforcing the ban.

This left hundreds of trucks stranded on both sides of the road for several kilometres till Monday night as these vehicles have been unable to cross the Karnataka-Goa border, prompting angry reactions from truck operators on both sides of the border.

A police team has been stationed at Keri to maintain law and order as the situation turned tense on both sides of the border.

The strict action was taken shortly after a report in The Goan, which highlighted the continuous movement of heavy vehicles despite a ban by the North Goa Collector.

Long queues of trucks were seen stranded for about 10 kms, right from Kankumbi till the Goa border in Chorla Ghat.

To make matters worse, trucks were unable to turn back due to the huge traffic jam. Passenger traffic was also affected badly as commuters had to wait for hours together to reach Goa and vice versa.

A large number of Goans travelling to and from Belagavi had to bear the brunt due to the unexpected traffic jam.


ANGER AMONG TRUCKERS


As movement for heavy vehicles has been banned via Ramnagar due to the incomplete and dilapidated NH4A, the transporters from Belagavi region had requested authorities to allow heavy vehicles to Goa via Chorla.

“To reach Goa via Karwar means travelling another 100 kms. Apart from additional cost, we require more time to reach Goa due to which heavy losses are incurred. We have urged authorities not to ban Chorla route till the NH4A is ready,” said a transporter, Sameer Shigli.

Meanwhile, questions were also being asked as to how cement would reach Goa and processed waste could be transported to Lokapur.

“More than 20,000 tonnes of cement go to Goa every month. More than that, about 15,000 tonnes of segregated waste from comes to Lokapur to be used by cement factories as an alternative to coke and electricity. Banning heavy vehicles would be impractical for Goa,” another leading transporter told The Goan.

Meanwhile, truck drivers who were at the receiving end of the ban expressed anger over the strict imposition of the ban orders.

“Our trucks and drivers have been left stranded since Sunday night. It’s really harsh and unmindful of Goan authorities in keeping our vehicles stranded in the dark of night and in cold,” said one truck operator.

A few angry drivers who were caught unaware vented out their anger on the sudden development.

“Authorities could have left us by imposing the fine and issuing the warning,” another driver said.

The Belagavi District Lorry Association President Nandkumar Patil and committee members convened an emergency meeting and will be meeting Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant with their request to allow movement of heavy vehicles via Chorla.


SITUATION AT KERI


The situation was equally tense along the Sattari side of the border, with hundreds of trucks left stranded along the Goa border at Keri.

A number of angry truck operators and drivers warned that vegetable and milk vehicles arriving from Belagavi area will be stopped if authorities do not allow movement of trucks by Monday night.

Locals in Keri had been demanding a ban on the movement of heavy vehicles, as many trucks were found to be moving in a rash manner and causing mishaps, jeopardising the safety of passengers and pedestrians along the route.

The truck operators and drivers tried to reason out with traffic officials, even cautioning them the preventing the movement of heavy vehicles would cause further tension and losses. However, traffic officials were in no mood to relent, and trucks were held up till late Monday night.


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