The Aam Aadmi, already smarting from inflation, now has to tighten his belt for shortages and a further price hike, with the truckers’ nationwide strike threatening to cripple supplies across India.
What lies in store for the common man can be seen from the example of Kerala, whose truckers have not joined the protest strike called by the All India Motor Transport Congress, but has its supply lines choked as it imports all its essential and non-essential commodities from neighbouring states.
Reports from MP show a successful disruption of supplies after truckers went off the roads, refusing to ferry commodities unless toll tax was abolished and duties levied on diesel rolled back.
Maharashtra reported a lukewarm response to the strike as did Rajasthan, where a major union, the Rajasthan Truck Transport Operators Union, refused to join. In Orissa and West Bengal, the truck operators’ associations too stayed away from the strike and said movement of goods from neighbouring states was normal.
In Gujarat, half the truck operators in the state joined the strike. The Akhil Gujarat Truck Transporters Association, which has called the strike in the state, hopes that by Thursday about 75 per cent of the nearly four lakh trucks and other commercial vehicles would be off the roads.