Dumper Association’s strike turns into hooliganism
KARACHI: The Dumper Association strike has now turned into hooliganism, as the association members have started attacking other vehicles carrying construction material.
“The strike is continuing for over 10 days and yet the provincial government didn’t cave; therefore, we are forced to take extreme measures,” a dumper driver said, requesting anonymity.
“The business of all other transporting vehicles is dependent on dumper trucks, as we transport bulk quantities, of which these smaller vehicles do their deliveries. So they can’t go against us”.
Saleemullah, a Suzuki pick-up driver, said that several dumper drivers attacked his vehicle and cracked his windshield, as he was carrying bajri (construction sand) despite the strike.
Saleemullah said that the dumper association was also imposing fines up to Rs25,000 on vehicle owners transporting anything.
Several vendors of construction goods informed that the dumper association had warned them of consequences if they dared selling goods, while owners/drivers of transporting vehicles are fined to go against their will.
The strike of the dumpers has been continuing for almost two weeks, resulting in a halt to the construction activities, while the prices of bajri and crush had increased manifold.
“From Sunday, the strike has turned violent,” a vendor in Surjani Town, known as Durrani, said.
“The association has told us that if any vehicle was found transporting construction goods would be fined, as well as the wind shield of the vehicle would be shattered,” Durrani said, adding that one of my vehicles was impounded and I had to pay a fine of Rs10,000 to the association to get my vehicle released.
The Sindh government has hiked the mining royalty from Rs8 to Rs40/tonne in addition to a heavy toll tax of Rs3,200 for a two-way trip. The toll doubled to Rs6,400 if a dumper truck made two trips in 24 hours.
“[The] dumper truck owners were already facing a severe crisis due to the uptrend in diesel and tyre prices and the recent increase in levies has made it impossible for them to continue to work,” KCCI president Shariq Vohra said.
Members of the Dumper Truck Owners Association said they had been catering to the demand of Karachi and the rest of Sindh by lifting garbage and supplying construction material, besides paying a huge amount of taxes to the national exchequer.
However, the Mines and Mineral Development Department, Sindh, recently notified a steep hike in royalty and tasked the contractors to collect the levy, which is unacceptable.
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