Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sand suppliers to impose ‘indefinite bandh’ on sand

Sand Stockiest & Suppliers Union, Dimapur (SSSUD), Sand Stockiest & Sand Suppliers Union, Chümoukedima (SSSUC) and Assam Sand Supply & Truck Owner Association (ASSTOA) “unanimously resolved” to impose “indefinite bandh” on all sand supplies starting 5 am of November 10.
It may be recalled, that on October 31, the three bodies while serving an ultimatum on the sand mahalder welfare society (SMWS-Bokulia) and sand mahalder and supplier association (Manja) had warned they would impose total ban on sand import if their Assam counterparts failed to take necessary corrective measures and address their grievances within five days.
SSSUD president Viniho Shohe, SSSUC president Khriesavilie Yhoshu and ASSTOA president Anito N Shohe also said the three bodies resolved to seize the goods and “enforce appropriate actions” against any suppliers, stockiest or individual found violating the resolution.
They also appealed to the state government and the general public to intervene and extend cooperation. Further the three bodies accused SMWS of holding the Nagas to ransom and fixing the rate of the sand at their own whims and fancies.
Also reacting to a rejoinder from SMWS that it was not responsible for the recent hike in sand price, the three bodies said that instead of resolving the issue SMWS had made “unfounded allegations” without taking into consideration their appeal.
The three bodies also pointed out that when a truck was allowed to ferry 600 cft per trip, the royalty was Rs. 7000 per trip (Rs. 12 per cft). They said that if at all the authorities ordered to carry only 400 cft per trip, then the amount of royalty should be Rs. 4800. Questioning logic of hiking the royalty amount to Rs. 13,000 per trip, the three bodies reminded that they have been paying Rs. 12 per cft and the “unreasonable hike” in the price was burdening the general public. They also claimed that sand price has shot up to Rs. 60-65 per cft from Rs. 32 to 42 per cft (Dimapur price), for the issue needed to be resolved.
The three bodies also dismissed as “unfounded and fictitious” the SMWS allegation that they were collecting Rs. 5000 per truck against the lorry challan of underground parties. The three bodies clarified that they had, at no point in time, collected such amount against any truck. They demanded proof from SMWS, if any members collected such money.
They also pointed out that Nagaland government had closed down all the toll/check gate and that the SMWS allegation of collecting amount was “beyond comprehension”.
The three bodies said with closure of toll/check gate and banning of all forms of taxations, sand rate was supposed to come down. However, they said that instead of cutting down the sand rate, it has shot up high exorbitantly which reflected the “bad intention” SMWS and authorities concerned.
The three bodies also alleged that a truck was hijacked/stopped by SMWS members even before reaching the designated mohal and charged/extorted Rs. 13,000 per truck. They claimed that all the Naga trucks were directed towards the Mohal having bad quality sand and were not even given the liberty to choose the mohal.
Further, the three bodies demanded that Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) order (which purportedly prohibited carriage of any forest produce within the district between 5 pm and 5 am) should to be made public. They said that if there were no such orders then “unwanted harassments” needed to be stopped immediately. They said that by the time the truck reached Nagaland gate the time for “No entry” for heavy vehicle resumes, which was hampering the business activities.

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