Mixed response to truckers' strike

Commodity supplies unaffected on day one

Mixed response to truckers' strike

The indefinite State-wide transport strike call given by the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners and Agents Associations did not affect normal life on Sunday as the strike evoked mixed response from transporters on the first day. 

The federation has called for the strike to protest against the new sand policy of the government.

People did not feel the heat of the strike as supply of essential commodities such as milk, vegetables and petroleum products was not affected. Although Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners’ Association had backed the strike, taxi service in Bangalore was not disrupted.

 Most cabs to Kempegowda International Airport plied normally though it was feared that taxi services might be thrown out of gear. As it was a holiday, the shortage of taxis was not felt much.

Bhushan Narang, chairman of the Petroleum Dealers’ Association, Bangalore, said: “We have adequate stocks to last till Thursday and as such there will be no shortage of petrol, diesel or auto LPG. There are company-owned petrol tankers which will supply fuel with police escort if situation demands.”

Lack of coordination among lorry owners’ unions is said to be the main reason for the poor response to the strike. 

B Chennareddy, president, Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners Association, said, “We are for the sand lorry strike but we are not a party to the strike call given for all the commercial vehicles”.

G R Shanmugappa, president, Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners and Agents Association, said: “The strike is supported by all the associations and will continue. About 4.5 lakh commercial vehicles did not run on Sunday.”

 An average of about 800-900 truck loads come to the Agriculture Produce Market Committee yard in Bangalore daily, bringing in rice, pulses, grains and spices from Raichur, Gulbarga, Gangavathi and Hospet. But no supply arrived on Sunday, he added.

 The chief minister and transport minister are likely to hold a meeting with the transporters on Monday to end the deadlock. 

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Goods Transporters’ Association on Sunday expressed its support to the strike. 

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