Chief Minister Digambar Kamat who had gone to visit party MLA Shyam Satardekar on his birthday on Thursday had to suffer the ignominy of being gheraoed by truck owners protesting against the Transport Department’s alleged harassment.
It may be recalled that the Transport Department has launched a drive against violations of the rules by trucks transporting ore in the State and on the first day of the drive last week, more than 200 cases were booked.
However, while the truck operators in North Goa toed the line from Monday itself, truck owners in South Goa have taken on a defiant attitude claiming that the Transport Department has gone back on its word to permit the trucks to have planks to avoid spillage of ore on the road and stayed off the roads.
On Thursday when Chief Minister and Home Minister Ravi Naik went to wish Shyam Satardekar at the function organized at Government Sports Complex at Curchorem, hundreds of truck owners arrived there and began shouting anti-government slogans.
However, they fell silent when informed that the Chief Minister would meet them after the official function. Digambar Kamat then met the truck owners and assured them that their grievance would be looked into. Later in the evening, he rushed to Panjim to discuss this issue with officials.
Meanwhile, truck owners have decided to commence operations but without removing the wooden planks and decided to block the highways in the State if the Transport Department insists on removing these planks.