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Truckers spare essential supplies

07:21 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

RADHIKA GANGADHAR MUMBAI

Three days into the indefinite strike called by truckers in the state, the transporter are headstrong not to give up despite having incurred a loss of Rs 25 crore in just the first two days.

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However,

keeping to their policies, the movement of essential goods has not been affected, said both – transporters and state transport officials alike.

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The All India Motor Transport Congress ( AIMTC) began striking since August 18 in the southern zone, comprising Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Puducherry, demanding reduction in toll charges as also a review of government policies on vehicle partsalt39 imports, insurance, fuel prices, apart from strict action against corrupt officials at toll nakas.

Mumbai, including Mira- Bhayander, New Mumbai, Kalyan- Badlapur areas, has a 3 crore- plus population.

This alone needs nearly 1500 to 1700 trucks of vegetables, 400 trucks of fruits and about 1400 trucks of grains daily. Each truck means about 5 tempos for transportation to all the major Mandi i. e. vegetable markets in and around the city.

” It has been seen to it that items like vegetables, fruits, milk and fuel, being essential goods, not be affected in any way. In all 7000- odd goods vehicles continue to ply the roads daily despite the on- going strike,” BGTA general secretary Sunil Kale told FPJ. However, movement of other commercial goods was affected due to the strike, he said.

” Although not much has been affected yet, the strike, if it continues, will affect the various manufacturing units in Mumbai and several industries that depend on supply of raw materials by these trucks, tempos and trailers,” state transport sources said.

All the same, sources told FPJ that trucks coming in with grains were going back with non- essential goods and vice- versa, which is why, there didnalt39t seem to be that an adverse effect despite the strike.

Compared to any other normal day, only 20 per cent of the total goods transport services have been on the move since the strike began.

This has led the trucker organisation in Mumbai – BGTA – to lose at least Rs 12.5 crore each day. ” However, despite our losses, we are focussed to bring the governments attention to our woes and hope they look up our concerns soon,” a member of the Bombay Goods Transport Association ( BGTA) told FPJ. ” Keeping the interest of the common people in mind, we have, for the first time, decided to strike by way of persuasion and not by force.

Therefore, now, it depends on the conscience of the government to look up our grievance and make a fair stand,” another BGTA member said.

The truckers in the city said they chose to go easy with the strike as they did not want to take away the attention from Anna Hazares anti corruption crusade as, in a way, it spoke of the same cause they were fighting.

Said a tempo owner, ” Keeping to his principles, we too decided to strike sober with no demonstrations or protest rallies this time round.” When asked about the governments response to their movement, Kale said that Government of Maharashtra ( GoM) officials had contacted them Friday to inform them that the issues raised by the transporter unions were of the Central Government level and so, decision- making power lay ther

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