Attari: A strike by unions of truck owners and drivers at Attari in Punjab has hit cross border trade with Pakistan.
Truck drivers said that they were protesting against the local authorities for making them wait for five to six days at the Integrated Check Post (ICP).
They accused the concerned ICP officials of resorting to biased behaviour that prompted some of the truck drivers to break the queue and move forward.
They levelled serious allegations of corruption against the officials of Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and the paramilitary outfit of Border Security Force (BSF).
The demonstrators staged a sit-in protest in front of the main gate of the ICP.
Speaking to reporters, Kulwinder Singh, a member of the Truck Drivers Union, said they were bearing the brunt of the administration’s apathy.
“Yesterday, some traders met the officials of Border Security Force and they offered some money. After that traders came out took their vehicles inside and there was no security check and nobody stopped them. But on other said they told us that they would not let any truck of Attari Truck Drivers Union enter Attari to proceed to Pakistan,” said Singh.
The truck drivers expressed their anguish as they were carrying perishable items such as vegetables, which rot since they have to wait for days to cross the border.
Trucks carrying fresh vegetables, mostly tomatoes, were lined up outside ICP.
Singh said the truckers union is ready to intensify their agitation if their trucks were not cleared at the earliest.
“Our demand is just that let the work function as it used to be. They (the BSF personnel) should keep discharging their duties responsibly as per the law and should not work under the pressure of traders and indulge in any unlawful activity,” added Singh.
During the strike, about 300 trucks were lined up at the border to cross over to Pakistan.
Incidentally, both India and Pakistan have implemented measures to improve trade and business ties with an endeavour to slowly rebuild relations that were shattered by the 2008 Mumbai attacks.