Reacting to Assam Sand Supply and Truck Owners’ Association Nagaland (ASSTOAN) statement, the Sand Stockists and Suppliers’ Union Dimapur (SSSUD) asserted that it stood firm against any unilateral decision that could disrupt the sand trade and urged ASSTOAN to engage in open dialogue and collaboration with all stakeholders.
In a rejoinder, SSSUD president Viniho Shohe and general secretary Vikugha Chophy stressed that only through cooperation and a commitment to shared principles could build a sustainable and prosperous sand supply industry for the benefit of all. It said ASSTOAN’s decision to lift an alleged month-long ban on the transportation of sand from Manja, Assam, had raised questions that demanded unequivocal answers.
While respecting the concerns and interests of all parties involved, the union mentioned that it was its duty to address the misleading nature of ASSTOAN’s actions and emphasise upon the adverse effects of the association’s unilateral decision on it.
The union mentioned that it was puzzling that ASSTOAN claimed to have imposed a month-long ban on sand transportation from Manja when there had been no credible news source corroborating this assertion.
Such a move, if indeed implemented without proper justification, would be detrimental not only to the legitimate sand trade but also to the broader economic interests of the region. Clarity and truth must be maintained in all dealings, particularly those that impact livelihoods and local economies, the rejoinder cautioned.
Clarifying that it firmly believed in a level playing field for all stakeholders involved in the sand supply chain, the union pointed out that ASSTOAN’s decision to reduce the number of trucks transporting sand from Karbi Anglong to Dimapur was not in harmony with this principle.
According to the union, arbitrarily limiting the number of trucks participating in the trade not only hampered healthy competition, but also stifled economic growth in the region.
“It is essential that we encourage healthy market dynamics rather than resorting to restrictive measures that may lead to monopolistic tendencies,” the union stressed.
Moreover, the insistence of ASSTOAN on mandatorily registering trucks under its banner for sand transportation from Karbi Anglong to Dimapur was a cause for concern, the union added.
Clarifying that while it recognised the need for regulation and accountability, the union warned that imposing such a requirement without due consultation and agreement from all stakeholders could have far-reaching consequences.
It feared that such a move could disrupt the established business relationships and practices, causing unnecessary hardship to those who had been responsibly participating in the sand trade for years.
Meanwhile, in its pursuit for a fair and open sand supply industry, the union advocated transparency, whereby all decisions related to sand trade and transportation should be made transparent and should not be shrouded in secrecy or misinformation.
It also proposed encouraging healthy competition to ensure that consumers received the best quality sand at fair prices, besides emphasising that decisions that affected the industry should be made through consultation and consensus-building among all stakeholders, including sand stockists, truck owners, and regulatory bodies.
Further, it advocated establishing a well-defined and fair regulatory framework to govern the sand supply industry, ensuring that all parties operated within the bounds of the law.
The union clarified that it sought an environment where fairness, transparency, and the rule of law prevailed.