Trucks to go off road? Es­sen­tials won’t be hit

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

MUM­BAI: Miffed with toll charges, soar­ing diesel prices and third­party in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums, truck­ers in Ma­ha­rash­tra has threat­ened a in­def­i­nite strike from June 18

How­ever, the sup­ply of essential com­modi­ties such as fuel, milk, fruits, and veg­eta­bles will re­main un­af­fected, said All-in­dia Con­fed­er­a­tion of Goods Ve­hi­cle Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (ACOGOA), adding that about 27 lakh trucks will re­main off the road if the state gov­ern­ment does not act on their de­mands.

“We don’t want to trou­ble the pub­lic but in­tend to high­light the is­sues,” said Ra­jin­der Singh, gen­eral sec­re­tary of ACOGOA. He said the union is forced to take this step as the gov­ern­ment has ig­nored their de­mands de­spite re­peated rep­re­sen­ta­tions.

An­other transport’s body — All In­dia Mo­tor Transport Congress — has given a na­tion­wide strike call for July 20 over more or less sim­i­lar de­mands.

Trans­porter op­er­a­tors, how­ever,

are scep­ti­cal that truck­ers will re­spond to the ACOGOA’S plea in Mum­bai and Ma­ha­rash­tra be­cause a few truck­ers as­so­ci­a­tions from the state have an­nounced sup­port to the strike.

How­ever, ACOGOA has claimed that all truck unions will par­tic­i­pate in the strike.

Ac­cord­ing to ACOGOA, diesel, which con­trib­utes to 60% of the op­er­a­tional cost, has wit­nessed about a 17% in­crease in the past five months. The prices of freight, how­ever, re­mained un­changed. “The truck op­er­a­tor’s run­ning cost has gone up by about Rs100 crores a day, be­cause of the diesel price hike be­tween May 14 and May 31,” said Singh. He said ex­cise duty on fuel has been in­creased by 484.17% since the NDA gov­ern­ment came to power in 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to the trucker's body, the third party in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums for heavy ve­hi­cles have been in­creased by 910% to 1,117% since 2002.

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