Centre unmoved, truckers to intensify strike

Striking truck operators across the country are determined to intensify their stir as there are  no indications of the Centre initiating talks to resolve issues of the road transport sector.

Published: 23rd July 2018 04:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2018 04:59 AM   |  A+A-

Lorries parked at CMDA trucks’ terminus in the city following the nation-wide stir | P Jawahar

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Striking truck operators across the country are determined to intensify their stir as there are  no indications of the Centre initiating talks to resolve issues of the road transport sector. “There are no indications for negotiations till Sunday evening to resolve the issues raised by us. So, we will intensify our stir,” Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of the core committee of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), told Express on Sunday.

He said “We are very firm on our demands. We have urged the government’s intervention for tangible resolution of the issues, mere assurances will not be enough this time.”  

Essential services may be suspended  

The government’s unwillingness to address the issues raised by the truckers may compel the transporters engaged in ferrying essential commodities to suspend operations, Bal Malkit Singh warned.

Currently, AIMTC has exempted essential commodities like milk, water and medicine, from the strike.
Cutting down fuel costs, ensuring seamless movement of vehicles by rationalising road toll and wiping out harassment and corruption on the road and slashing the hefty hike made in third party premium are the major demands of the national body of truck and transport operators.

As the indefinite strike called by AIMTC entered the third day on Sunday, he said the combined loss to transporters over the last three days was `12,000 crore.

Bal Malkit Singh said that ASSOCHAM had said that the current strike by truckers would cause  a loss of `20,000-25,000 crores per day to the economy.

Support to the strike is growing day by day. Several associations are joining the stir. Protests including rallies and dharnas at toll plazas are being held by the striking truck operators, he said  adding that about 90 per cent of the vehicles are off the road.  

Goods pile up in Tamil Nadu  

Leaders of truck operators association in Tamil Nadu said that movement of goods ranging from edibles to machinery has been badly hit in the State.

Huge quantity of salt has piled up at salt pans in Nagapattinam and Thoothukudi districts while crores of eggs are stacked up in poultry farms at Namakkal.

“Textile items worth hundreds of crore rupees are lying idle in the mills and godowns in Tirupur and Erode. Machinery cannot be ferried from Coimbatore”, said MR Kumarasamy, president of State Federation of Lorry Owners Associations-Tamil Nadu (SFLOA-TN).

He added that trucks carrying cement from Ariyalur have completely suspended operations.
Meanwhile, industry sources said the State will soon feel the impact of the strike as the stock of commodities will run out shortly. It will lead to shortage and spiralling of prices.

Stalin wants Centre to hold talks with truckers
DMK working president and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin on Sunday urged the Union government to hold talks with the striking truck operators. He said the demand for removing the toll plazas is a plea of the public as well. The Centre should hold talks to bring an amicable solution to the strike, he added.


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