Indian Food Corporation (FCI), North East Zone Contractors’ Federation has threatened to begin an indefinite non-cooperation with effect from August 16 next, in handling and transportation of goods throughout the region, in protest against failure of the FCI to resolve its nine-point demands. Addressing the media persons in Guwahati on 13th August, the Federation’s President, Rana Saidul Zaman said that the non-cooperation would continue till their demands not fulfilled. During this period no truck registered under the Federation would transport goods to and from FCI godowns in the NE region.
Zaman also informed that the Supreme Court on November 9,2005 in an important judgment in a case of overloading, restricted overloading on trucks beyond 9 tons. The FCI divisional office did not inform the transport contractors about this direction of the Apex court.. It also did not put any condition in the tender notices in this regard. The contractors submitted their quotations on the basis of overloading carriages of goods. Till the month of May 2010, this practice of overloading continued. On June 8 last the FCI NE Region Executive Director through a letter appealed to relax the rules of overloading to contractors engaged in transportation of rice, wheat and sugar etc; from FCI godowns on the ground that the contractors had procured the orders on the basis of higher overloading and since the overloading is abolished, they would have to suffer heavy losses.
The Federation made it clear that they did not oppose the direction of the Apex court regarding the overloading, but demand to find out some alternate arrangement so that the contractors do not suffer losses. In this matter the Federation had earlier informed the government as well as the FCI senior officials. On July 12 last a delegation of the Federation called on the Executive Director of the FCI NE Zone and through him submitted a nine point memorandum to the Government of India’s Food and supply minister and the FCI chairman and Managing Director. The copy of the memorandum was also sent to all chief ministers of NE states and all four FCI general managers. The authorities were urged to respond within ten days of time..
On July 21st a meeting of Federation’s representatives and Executive Director was held, but there was no outcome. As a result the Federation resorted on three days non-cooperation from July 26 to July 28. Although the agitation was successful, but the Federation members were harassed too much by the authorities. On 29th July Food Corporation of India’s Chairman came to Guwahati and the Federation sought permission to meet him. On July30 last the Federation delegates called on the FCI Chairman at Hotel Brahmaputra Ashoka and discussed the problems with him in presence of other officials, but the result was unfavorable and disappointing. Therefore, the Federation has decided to go on indefinite non-cooperation with effect from August 16 next.