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Matchboxes worth Rs 90 crore stagnates in TN godowns

Matchboxes worth Rs 90 crore stagnates in TN godowns due to truckers strike

The ongoing indefinite nationwide strike of truckers has resulted in matchboxes worth more than Rs 90 crore stagnated in the godowns in Tamil Nadu as the strike entered the 7th day on Tuesday, said secretary of National Small Match Manufacturers Association, V S Sethurathinam. The truckers began their strike on July 19 demanding reduction in diesel price and toll charges among other key demands.

Six lakh workers of Ettayapuram, Kalugumalai and Kayathar areas in Tuticorin district, Sattur, Sivakasi and Elayirampannai in Virudhunagar district, Sankarankovil and Thiruvengadam in district, Gudiyatham in Vellore district and Kaveripattinam in Krishnagiri district depend on this industry for their livelihood. Around four lakh people are directly employed while the rest are indirectly employed.

Sethurathinam said that they are employed in nearly 2,000 small and medium matchbox making units, 300 semi-automatic and 25 fully automatic matchbox making units in Tamil Nadu. Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are among important markets for matchboxes from Tamil Nadu. “Lorry is the only mode of transportation to these far-off destinations,” he added.

Stating that the strike has resulted in heavy accumulation in godowns, Sethurathinam said the bundles are getting piled up in some offices and in other places. He added that continuance of the strike would leave the matchbox making units with no other option but to forcibly remain closed down till the existing stocks are cleared.

President of the lorry owners association, C Sathiah told TOI that the strike will result in shortage of provisions needed on a day-to-day basis as shops are running out of stock. “Shops have managed to sell the existing stock of eatables and raw materials. Our fellow truck owners are getting information that some retailers are already running out of stock,” he said. Sathiah said that more shops will face the heat in a couple of days and urged the government to call trucker representatives and assure fulfilment of their rightful demands.

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