Nationwide strike: School, inter-city buses off roads in Maharashtra today
The supply of essential commodities is likely to remain unaffected, as the state has allowed passenger vehicles to ferry goods, in the wake of the strikeUpdated: Jul 20, 2018 00:39 IST
As transport operators begin their indefinite strike from Thursday midnight, school, contract carriage buses for companies and private inter-state buses will remain off the roads on Friday. The supply of essential commodities is likely to remain unaffected, as the state has allowed passenger vehicles to ferry goods, in the wake of the strike.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), one of the apex bodies of transporters, has called the nationwide Chakka Jam to protest hike in diesel prices, demanding they be reduced. They are also protesting third-party insurance premium hike, existing toll collection policy, alleged corruption and harassment on roads, besides national permits for passenger vehicles.
Most transporters from Maharashtra have supported the strike. The Maharashtra Rajya Truck Tempo Tankers Buses Vahatuk Mahasangh, one of the strongest transport bodies in the state and School Company Bus Owner’s Association (SCBOA), a strong body of bus owners, plan to participate in it.
Maharashtra has around 80,000 buses, including school buses. “All buses on intercity routes will remain off roads,” said Prasanna Patvardhan, a leader of Vahatuk Mahasangha. Anil Garg, leader of SCBOA said the decision was taken in a meeting of their members on Thursday and they have informed the schools.
Maharashtra has around more than 12 lakh goods vehicles, including delivery vans and tankers, all of which are likely to be hit.
The transporters bodies will keep essential commodities such as vegetables, fruits, milk out of the strike. “But we can’t stop operators of essential commodities if they decide to participate in the strike,” said Raman Khosla, president in charge of the Vahatuk Mahasangh.
“The repressive and retrograde policies of the government are not attuned with ground realities and are trampling the transport sector and now it is on the verge of imminent collapse,” reads the AIMTC release.
Earlier, the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association (ACOGOA) had called a strike on the same issues on June 18, but it got poor response Meanwhile, the state government has decided to form a seven-member committees led by collectors in every district to keep the situation in control.
BRACING FOR TROUBLE
More than 1,000 school buses in Thane and Navi Mumbai are likely to be hit by the protest. “This is a token agitation against many government policies,” said Denise Sequeira, president, Thane District School Bus owners association. While most schools plan to function as usual, parents are worried. “What if the agitation takes an ugly turn by evening, it will become difficult to get the students back home,” said Aruna Chatterjee, resident of Manpada and a mother of a 7-year-old.
Inputs from Ankita G Menon
First Published: Jul 20, 2018 00:39 IST