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Truckers refuse to relent, strike to go on

There was no solution in sight to the transporters’ strike, which entered its second day on Saturday.

mumbai Updated: Aug 21, 2011 00:51 IST

There was no solution in sight to the transporters’ strike, which entered its second day on Saturday. Even though the strike did not cause large-scale inconvenience, the hardening of stands by both the government and the truckers may lead to problems in the next few days.

The transporters’ strike began from August 18 midnight and essential commodities had been excluded from the strike.

The south-zone Motor Transporters Welfare Association had called for a strike in four southern states and Maharashtra against a 135% hike in toll charges on national highways apart from a 68% hike in third-party insurance and tyre price hike by 30%. The association also wants uniform diesel prices across the country.

Daljeet Singh, president of Maharashtra Transport Welfare Association, said, “We are supporting the strike fully and will continue to do so till our national leaders ask us to stop.”

Representatives of the state government held parleys with the truckers’ unions, but a final solution is only possible when the Centre intervenes. The central government, reeling under the Anna Hazare crisis, has still not done much to address the truckers’ grievances.

Singh said, “The effect of the strike is not very visible because we have exempted essential commodities like vegetables, food grains and milk as we do not want the common man to suffer.”

Traders at the wholesale Agriculture Produce Market Committee confirmed that there has been no effect on their operations. Sharad Maru, president of Grains, Rice, Oilseeds Merchant Association, said, “We have not been informed by our transporters about any strike.” The vegetable and fruit market traders too said their transporters had assured them that the supplies would continue as usual.

“It is not that the strike has failed. We are indirectly fighting a battle against corruption along with Anna Hazare,” said Sunil Kale, secretary, Bombay Goods Transport Association.

First Published: Aug 21, 2011 00:48 IST