Strike against heavy traffic ban in Karachi enters eighth day

May 15, 2017 – The export process was completely halted and export containers’ transportation on all terminals of the ports in Karachi remained suspended.

“Goods in thousands of containers are in factories, as the capacity of warehouses has been exhausted,” said an exporter, adding irrevocable damage could be caused if the issue is not resolved on an immediate basis.

Exports from across the country worth Rs48 billion are said to have been halted due to the strike, with businessmen facing losses worth millions every day.

On Saturday, the Sindh High Court ordered that the ban on entry of heavy traffic in the port city persists.

The two-judge bench also asked for names of the committee representing all the stakeholders and ordered that the body present its recommendations at the next hearing.

During the hearing, the counsel for the Karachi Port Trust informed the court that there has been a loss of Rs4 billion owing to the strike by the heavy vehicles’ association. He added that port traffic is also at a standstill owing to the strike as no goods are being moved.

Meanwhile, a report submitted in the court by the traffic DIG stated that 765 vehicles have been impounded as part of the court’s orders. The report also said that over Rs10 million have also been recovered in fines in this regard. There has been a 71 percent decrease in traffic accidents following the ban on entry of heavy vehicles in the city, the report added.

The bench adjourned the hearing till May 20.

Saturday was the sixth day of the goods transporters’ strike, which started to lead to concerns of a price hike with Ramazan around the corner.

Industry insiders believe that freight charges will consequently shoot up, bumping up variable expenditures, which will likely end up inflating the retail prices.

Earlier, Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association (PSMA) Chairman Abdullah Zaki while speaking to Geo.tv, commented, “Almost 13,000 containers – most of which carry food items – are now held up at the Karachi Port’s terminals.”

Transporters had entered into a strike to protest heavy vehicles being barred from moving inside the city, due to which goods worth millions of rupees sit immobile in warehouses.

Traders, industrialists, and manufacturers alike have slammed the strikers for causing a severe bottleneck in the supply of basic necessities and other imported goods that sit idle at the port, hoarding the containers, which, in turn, have resulted in export consignments being unable to get loaded and sent off.

The Karachi Port’s terminals are at present teeming with containers as the goods transporters’ strike has led to non-availability of heavy vehicles to move imports and exports. The situation has exacerbated to such an extent that the port is almost at its full capacity.

Source: Geo News Pakistan