Truck owners across the state have begun a token strike demanding hike in rental rates in the wake of the recent increase in diesel prices.
The strike has been called by the Kerala State Lorry Owners Federation which has its headquarters in the city.
“Running lorry services is not feesible until the rates are increased at least by 30 per cent. The recent hike in diesel prices has heaped more woe on us. We were already struggling thanks to increasing costs, and now the hike has made it impossible for us to operate at current rates. “A trip to Nagpur will consume around 400 litres of diesel, and with prices increasing by `5 per litre, we now have to bear `2,000 in extra expenses for a single trip,” said federation vice-president K K Hamsa.
He said that the lorry owners would not run services for a couple of days and if no action was taken, they had no qualms in making their strike an indefinite one. He added that increasing their charges would have no effect on costs of household amenities.
“People have been misled to believe that increase in lorry rental charges causes an increase in the prices of essential commodities. But this is not true. Most of the items being used here in Kerala are brought from other states and the lorry rental rates are being paid there.