BENGALURU: The indefinite strike by truckers has affected the supply of essential commodities like vegetables and pulses. Petrol and diesel tankers, however, continued to ply although they have supported the strike.
The South India Motor Transport Association (SIMTA) has been on strike objecting to the Centre’s decision to raise third-party insurance premium of vehicles by as much as 50 per cent.
Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, president of Bengaluru Wholesale Foodgrains and Pulses Merchants Association, said, “Except onion and potato, supply of all other perishable goods has been hit. There is shortage of essentials like sugar, jaggery and pulses.”
He added, “Transactions have been impacted heavily, especially in Yeshwantpur market. Although the protest has extended to other states in the south, there have been no issues in Chennai and Puducherry.
Mysuru and Bengaluru are bearing the brunt.”
Secretary of Akhila Karnataka Federation of Petroleum Traders Ranjith Hegde said, “Petrol pumps across the state are open and tankers are plying. We have extended our support symbolically and we totally disagree with the taxes and hike in insurance premium.
“However, we have innumerable formalities like writing letters to oil companies to be carried out before we join the protest physically. The decision to formally join them will be taken after discussion,” he said.
Voicing similar opinion, Bhushan Narang, president of Bangalore Petroleum Dealers’ Association, said, “There is no impact on petrol or diesel. Vehicles are moving as usual. As of now, there are no plans to join the protest.”
Ravindra, a member of SIMTA, said that representatives of central government are likely to call for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the matter.
He said, “Petrol and diesel associations are supposed to join the strike from Wednesday. Around 4,000 tankers were off the roads on Tuesday.
We will launch an all-India protest on April 8 if our demands are not met.