KARACHI: The government is absolutely helpless before the blackmailing of powerful transporter mafia and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is now begging before the transporters to end the strike, and yet the strikes continues.

The goods transporters’ strike has paralyzed the supply of goods to Karachi for the last 10 days and the strike has caused a loss of billions of rupees to traders so far and inflation is expected to hit the sky way ahead of Ramazan this year.

A delegation of PPP leaders including Nisar Khoro, Minister Transport Nasir Hussain Shah, Senator Aajiz Dhamra, Rashid Rabbani and Waqar Mehdi called on Chairman United Goods Transport Association Pakistan Malik Shabbar.

PPP leaders assured the office bearers of the transporters’ assocaition that the attorney general Sindh would approach Sindh high Court that the hearing be conducted immediately and the decision be announced on the same date. However, the transporters have refused to end the strike on verbal commitments.

The strike has hindered exports from across the country worth billions, with businessmen facing losses worth millions every day.

The strike was called by goods’ carriers last Monday against a ban imposed by the Sindh High Court (SHC) on the movement of heavy vehicles in Karachi during the day. Later, 14 other transport bodies also joined the strike. Altogether these transporters have formed a very powerful mafia and pay no heed to government.

After ten days of strike and huge losses to the economy, National Logistics Cell (NLC) has come to rescue and offered their services in removing the containers from terminals.

About 7,000 to 8,000 containers carry raw material, imported food and other items daily from the Karachi port to other regions.

Customs sources said examination and assessment at KICT and PICT were going on normally until Tuesday evening, however the consignments were not being gate out.

Sources said the grounding of containers was as per routine but the port was over congested and if the cleared containers were not removed there would be no more space for the grounding of containers.

An official said Customs could not force their licensed bonded carriers to lift the containers as these bonded carriers did not own vehicles and they borrowed these vehicles from the transporters mafia.

Industrialists may face problems in smooth operation of units due to fast exhausting stock of raw materials and non-transportation of raw material from ports because of goods transporters’ strike.

The affected industrialists expressed apprehension that the strike would not only result in huge losses to the exporters, but also to the national exchequer.

It may be mentioned here that nowhere in the world, these heavy trailers are allowed to move through the cities and movement of containers is through the routes outside of cities. These heavy vehicles are a big nuisance for the city’s traffic and hurt city’s infrastructure.