Truckers' strike to hit commodity supply

 Prices of essential commodities may go up as about 20 lakh commercial and tourist vehicles in south India, including over 3 lakh in Karnataka, will go off the roads from Monday.

General secretary of South Zone Motor Transporters’ Welfare Association G R Shanmugappa said they have taken the decision to protest against the Central government for the hike in the insurance for vehicles. In addition to this, the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association has also joined the strike which is expected to hit the business sector.

“The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), which comes under the Centre, has effected massive hike in vehicle insurance which will hit the transport sector very badly. The cost of insurance has gone up from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 for cars, Rs 40,000 to Rs 90,000 for buses and from Rs 26,000 to 52,000 for lorries,” he said.

Shanmugappa said though the state government agreed not to scrap 15-year-old vehicles and reduce the RTO fees with only a 10% hike on the previous rates, their major demand of rolling back hike in cost of insurance has not got any response from the Centre.

“Petrol and diesel tankers, LPG suppliers, tourist taxies and maxicabs will participate in the strike from Monday. The central government will be responsible for the inconvenience and suffering caused to the general public. We will continue the strike till the Centre intervenes and rolls back the hike in insurance,” he said.

Control room to monitor situation

The Transport Department has set up control rooms in each district of the state to ensure supply of essential commodities and that no untoward incidents happen during the strike. The transport commissioner stated in a press release that the district officials will inform the authorities at the central control room in the commissioner’s about the situation in the areas. This will help the officials to make arrangements to mitigate problems of the public, the statement said.

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