The goods transporters’ strike entered in its eighth day on Monday amid fear of a total meltdown in the realm of the country’s import-export system.
The export process was completely halted and export containers’ transportation on all terminals of the ports in Karachi remained suspended.
“Goods worth thousands of containers are in factories, as the capacity of warehouses has been exhausted,” said an exporter, adding that “irrevocable damage could be caused if the issue is not resolved on an immediate basis”.
A total of Rs48 billion worth of exports from across the country are said to have been halted due to the strike, with businessmen facing losses worth millions every day.
The Sindh High Court on Saturday, hearing the ‘heavy traffic case’, ordered for a continuation of the ban on entry of heavy traffic in the port city.
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 DIG Traffic 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 this regard in fines. 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.—INP