Transport owners and workers went on a 48-hour goods transport strike in greater Chittagong since Sunday morning to press home their 5-point demand, seriously disrupting the movement of inbound and outbound goods-laden vehicles at Chittagong port.
Due to the strike enforced by Panya Paribahan Malik-Sramik Oikya Parishad, all type of transport vehicles including trucks, covered-vans, pickup vans, trailers, and tanks lorries have remained off the roads and highways in Chittagong, Rangamati, Bandarban, Khagrachari, and Cox's Bazar since 6:00am, according to a report published by UNB.
The goods transporters announced the programme at a press conference held at Press Club in the port city on Friday.
They said the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has hiked road use tax which is not acceptable to them. Besides, they have demanded issuance of driving licences under heavy vehicle category, building separate terminals for heavy trucks or prime movers and customs duty on imported vehicle parts.
Jafar Ahmed, convener of the Oikya Parishad, said the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has set road use tax at Tk 10,000 for each vehicle which was Tk 500 during the tenure of the past mayor.
Extra charges are also being taken in the name of monitoring loading, he alleged, adding that police are also taking extortion at different points on the highways.
Their five-point demands include stopping extra charge in the name of axle-load control stations, an end to police 'harassment' and withdrawal of illogical Tk 10,000 annual municipality tax on every goods vehicle by the CCC.