KOCHI : The All India Container Carriers Owners’ Association, representing more than a thousand container carriers, that mostly serve the Vallarpadam Container Transshipment Terminal, has said that the association will stop services indefintiely from February 4 if the demand for revised rates of payment for their services are not approved .
An association spokesman said container carriers were receiving the rate fixed 10 years ago when diesel price was ₹43 a litre. The price of the fuel had gone up to around ₹100 and it would be difficult to continue the services at the present rates.
As a token of protest, the container carrier owners went on strike for 24 hours from 8 a.m. on Monday. However, if the demand for revised rates was not approved, they would be forced to launch an indefinite strike, said P.A. Najeeb, joint secretary of the association.
He said they had approached the government, seeking revision in the rental rates for container carriers, and the former Left Democratic Front government had appointed the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) to study the situation and to fix the rates. The NATPAC report was presented at a meeting of stakeholders in the presence of the Chief Minister on August 9, 2018. However, nothing had moved forward since that meeting even as the price of diesel had more than doubled over the period, he said.
The container carrier owners are demanding that the NATPAC-fixed rates should be approved so that the services could be continued.