Transporters end strike at JNPT; new trucking system to be put on hold


Transporters hauling containers to and from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) have called off their strike from Saturday night after local politicians wrested an assurance from the four new transporters selected by the port authority not to proceed with their work till the Supreme Court decides on a petition brought by the striking truckers’ associations.

“The strike was called off from Saturday night,” said Pravin Paithankar, President of the Maharashtra Heavy Vehicle and Inter-State Container Operators’ Association, one of the agitating associations. “The four transporters have given an assurance not to ply their vehicles or proceed with the work till the Supreme Court decides on the matter,” Paithankar said.

The assurance was given at a meeting called by Ganesh Naik from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bala Nandgaonkar from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Uday Dalvi from Shiv Sena, among other political party representatives, to end the strike. Representatives from the 11 transport associations spearheading the strike and those from the four new transporters were also present.

After the Bombay High Court, citing government policy, refused to intervene in a case brought by the association last year, it approached the Supreme Court for relief.

Separately, the four transporters have told JNPT in a communication that they will not be able to carry out their work till the issues are settled, said an executive with one of the four entities.

Local politicians and transporters, from both existing and newly selected ones, will also hold an emergency meeting with the port authorities on Tuesday to finalise an “amicable solution” to the issue, Paithankar said.

The strike that lasted four days affected road movement of containers. It would have paralysed port operations had it continued for long.

Paithankar said that they have suggested the formation of an expert committee to look into various aspects of DPD in its entirety.