Monday, November 15, 2010

Truckers protest against bad roads in N Chennai

CHENNAI: Several drivers of container-laden trucks in north Chennai on Sunday parked their vehicles on the sides of roads leading to Chennai Port, protesting against the poor maintenance of Ennore-Manali Road and Ponneri-Panchetty Road.

The protest is said to have been triggered by the assault on a truck driver by members of the public in Manali on Saturday after he tried to overtake a lorry.

The agitating drivers said improper maintenance of roads often led to quarrels between them and the general public many times and that the authorities should immediately take steps to address their grievances.

The Confederation of Surface Transport in Tamil Nadu has already announced an indefinite strike by trailers, trucks and lorries from November 22, condemning the poor maintenance of Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri Road and Madhavaram-Manali Road.

"Authorities don't give adequate importance to road maintenance and that makes driving a difficult task. We have been demanding for several years to ensure proper roads here. No effective steps were taken and the roads have turned from bad to worse,'' said confederation president R Sugumar.

Many drivers complained that the number of vehicles breaking down had increased as the roads were not in a motorable condition, particularly after the rains.

Port Trust chairman Atulya Misra said steps were taken to do patch-up works on Ennore Road. The National Highways Authority of India had already called for tenders for the road works, he added.

Stating that activities in the Port were not affected much by the strike since it was a Sunday, Misra said he would hold talks with the representatives of truck owners and drivers on Monday.

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