Truckers Set for Strike over ‘Failure’ to Keep Word on Toll Rationalisation
Apparently anguished over the alleged failure of the Centre in honouring the promise it made during negotiations in October last year regarding the major demands of the road transport sector, the truckers across the country appear all set for another protest.
The leaders of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), have criticized the Centre for its “failure” to fulfill the demands as agreed during the negotiations.
“The Centre agreed to take a decision on rationalising the road toll collection by December 15 but it has failed to fulfil the promise,” alleged AIMTC president Bhim Wadva.
Signalling another round of stir, perhaps an indefinite strike, he said the truckers’ representatives would go into a huddle at the end of January at Hasan in Karnatak to take a call on the next course of action.
“The general council meeting of AIMTC will be held in Hasan on January 30,” Wadva told reporters here on Saturday.
The truckers across the country launched an indefinite strike in October last year pressing for the charter of demands that included bringing radical changes in road toll collection, removing the toll plazas that have exceeded the agreement period, introducing a new system wherein the toll can be collected once in a year and abolishing collection of TDS on operational costs.
The strike was called off following the Minister of Road Transport and Highways agreeing to sort out the core issues before December 15. AIMTC former president G R Shanmugappa warned that the truckers would be forced to go for an indefinite strike if the Centre did not sort out the issues before the end of the month.
While welcoming certain initiatives of the Centre, he told Express, “The core issue of streamlining toll must be resolved immediately, otherwise we may have to go for the strike”.
Shanmugappacalled on the State government to take a cue from the Centre’s relaxing educational qualification for obtaining driving licences. At present the minimum educational qualification for obtaining licence is a pass in Class VIII.