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Transporters’ strike on, Bengalureans’ milk supply hit

Mounting woes for Bengalureans, milk supply was disrupted in the city as transporters continued their strike in front of Karnataka Milk Federation offices across the city on Sunday.

The strike, headed by the Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents’ Association, was launched over growing demand by transporters to revise costs and a new rule by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).

Protesters said that the issue has been compounding as KMF and the Bangalore Milk Union Limited (BAMUL) had refused to revise costs of transporting milk, especially when there is a rise in gas prices. Earlier, 250 transporters under contract with BAMUL launched a strike on Friday, stating they had not been paid adequately factoring in the costs of gas price hike.

Meanwhile, G Shanmugappa of the Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents’ Association stated that KMF demanded that the transporters pay exorbitant rates for each packet of milk damaged during transport.

Meanwhile, BAMUL Transporters Association head Govindappa said that BAMUL has been appealed several times to increase the rates of transportation as the suppliers have been facing a loss. He alleged that while a 10 per cent increase had been promised, it had not been done.

However, BAMUL president Narasimha Murthy hit back, stating that a 10 per cent hike has been given. He also stated that tenders have been floated thrice, however, the transporters have refused to come forward. “The suppliers are using trucks that are 20 to 25 years old, which is why we had invited tenders thrice, but no one came forward. We are willing to speak to them, but they refuse to talk to us,” he said.

Govindappa stated no one has participated in the tender process due to BAMUL’s underselling the transporters, and  it was difficult for the transporters to meet the specifications set by BAMUL in the tenders.

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