Row hits lorry, bus traffic from Tamil Nadu

For the second consecutive day, inter-state bus and lorry services were hit following unrest in Karnataka over the Cauvery issue. Close to 5,000 trucks, which regularly ply between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, have been stopped at Hosur.
Police posted to protect KSRTC buses stationed at Koyambedu in Chennai (Photo: S Selvaraj)
Police posted to protect KSRTC buses stationed at Koyambedu in Chennai (Photo: S Selvaraj)

Chennai

According to Dhastagir Ajmal, Joint Secretary of Tamil Nadu Truck Drivers Federation, “Some of the trucks have been stranded in places like Mandya and Mysuru. In Mandya, one of the trucks was even burnt by the protestors. Some of them pelted stones at us. The police personnel and local lorry drivers’ association made arrangements for our safety,” he said, adding that prices of commodities will soar if the trucks continue to be stopped in the next few days. 
The lorries were carrying goods, including perishables like chicken, egg, pulses, vegetables and spices. R.Sugumar, President, Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation, said the government has to take action to ensure safety of the drivers. “The incidents of violence are a threat to the drivers.. Because these trucks have been stranded, the loading operations in Chennai too have come to a standstill. We have also requested the government to ensure protection to our truck drivers, especially at the border check posts,” he added.
Passengers delayed
The agitation has affected passenger traffic as well. A Aarif, Director, Parveen Travels Pvt. Ltd, said they were facing a delay at the check posts. “We are facing a problem because of the blockages en route. There is a delay at the border between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. From that point on, we have to take internal routes. There is a delay of an extra hour but the objective is to ensure the passengers reach their destination safely,” he said.
Meanwhile, a strong police picket was posted in front of the KSRTC counter at the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) at Koyambedu here. A police van was stationed and 20 police personnel per shift were deployed on security duty since Tuesday. The security is expected to continue till September 9 as a bandh was called in Karnataka on that day. Sources said Tamil Nadu registration buses were stopped in Hosur and Athibele in border areas, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses were operated as usual.

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