Transport of goods through A9 route to Jaffna falters

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 April 2009, 16:03 GMT]
The transport of goods to Jaffna through the newly opened A9 route had only been possible three times, in 56 lorries, since the launch of this procedure amidst much government publicity last month, sources in Jaffna said. The Defence Ministry does not permit the transport through A9 route because of the security risk of the goods and personnel involved, Jaffna Traders’ Union (JTU) sources said. The sources further expressed concern that the goods they wanted to bring from Colombo to Jaffna in lorries had first to be handed over to the SLA controlled Government Stores in Welisara where they have been delayed for weeks.

Though 18 lorries are expected to be transporting goods to Jaffna by the SLA it remains unknown when it will happen.

The goods brought to Jaffna from Colombo in the three trips were not sufficient to meet even a hundredth of the needs of Jaffna peninsula, JTU sources said.

The traders, anticipating a drop in prices of consumer goods in the peninsula due to the conveyance of them by lorries at a relative low cost, had been reluctant to ship them from Colombo.

Now, due to the uncertainty of transport through A9 route, the traders are showing fresh interest in having their goods shipped from Colombo to Kaangkeasanthu’rai harbour.

In the procedure of transporting goods to Jaffna, SLA soldiers took in charge of the lorries loaded with goods at Vavuniya and drove them up to Mukaamaalai, where they were given back to the lorry drivers.

 

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