Trucks off roads demand action
Over 50,000 trucks, trailers and tippers affiliated to Nagpur Truckers Unity and other associations from Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Bhandara, Gondia, Wardha and Gadchiroli kept off the roads on the first day of the indefinite nationwide strike on Friday.
Over 50,000 trucks, trailers and tippers affiliated to Nagpur Truckers Unity and other associations from Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Bhandara, Gondia, Wardha and Gadchiroli kept off the roads on the first day of the indefinite nationwide strike on Friday. Transportation of goods in Vidarbha was severely hit due to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) strike, and is estimated to have led to a loss of about Rs 50 crore in the region.
“Transportation in Vidarbha is completely at standstill as there is no movement of trucks,” claimed Kuku Marwah, president, Nagpur Truckers Unity (NTU).
The truckers’ strike is set to affect supply of essential commodities as no transporter accepted goods for delivery today, and asked customers to wait until the strike is over. The strike has hit very hard the hundreds of daily wagers engaged in loading and unloading goods.
The strike is an outcome of failed meetings between the government and representatives of transport bodies to bring diesel under GST, and non-fulfilment of other demands, a NTU delegation led by Marwah told district collector Ashwin Mudgal.
In a memorandum to Mudgal, the NTU said they were being charged exorbitant fines, sometimes up to 100% of the total cost of the consignment, even if there was a slight human error in the e-way bill, and it was becoming difficult to operate. “Even diesel prices vary from state to state and it has become a costly affair. It would be better if there is uniform diesel rate under GST,” NTU secretary Rajinder Singh Saini said.
Marwah said the NTU is in constant touch with AIMTC president SK Mittal, and urged him not to roll back the strike unless all demands were met. “Strike should notend merely on assurances from the government, but decisions are needed,” he said.
TOI visited highways and market yards at Wadi, Pardi and Khapri, and found thousands of trucks parked along the road, indicating the success of the strike on Day 1.
Travel Association of Nagpur too extended support to the bandh. Association president Mahendra Luley said intra-state and inter-state private buses stayed off the roads today. A large number of commuters faced hardships at Ganeshpeth as luxury buses too joined the strike.
Most passengers had to cancel their travel plans while many opted to travel in state-run buses, which were overcrowded. However, the school bus transport association did not participate in the strike.
The otherwise busy Kalamna APMC market yard too wore a deserted look. Vegetable traders in APMC, semi-wholesale merchants at Mahatma Phule market, and other markets in the city could not stock vegetables due to closure of markets on Friday. However, if the strike continues, the supply of essential commodities, especially vegetables, in the city severely affected from tomorrow, said wholesale vegetable dealer Naresh Bawankule.
Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association has also decided to extend support to AIMTC and all its members in the state will remain off the roads on July 24.