The ongoing nationwide transportersâ€™ (trucks/lorrys) indefinite strike of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and several others associations is gaining momentum as it intensifies across the country.
AIMTC has claimed that as many as 94 lakhs trucks went off the roads for the past six days. The effect of the strike has also hit nearly 6.5 lakhs trucks in both Telugu states -Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Among their demands is the reduction of state and central taxes on petrol and diesel prices and bringing fuel under GST (Goods and Services Tax). They are also demanding a change of terms in collection of toll fees at toll plazas on national highways, and a reduction in the premium amount on third party insurance.
The Centre is yet to respond to the demands of the truck associations.
According AP Lorry Owners Association (APLOA) as many as 3 lakh trucks went off the roads while in neighbouring Telangana 2.5 lakh trucks participated in the strike.
Easwar Rao, General Secretary of APLOA said, "There is no similarity in fuel prices between the states and ruthless fee collection across toll plazas causes huge damage to the trade, crores of money is being collected."
The strike is hitting petrol bunks and associated sectors, as reports suggest that fuel filling stations in several places are running out of stock.
The strike will also affect the livelihood of nearly 10 lakh people in both states including drivers and cleaners of the vehicles.
"The government hasn't responded so far, but what is certain is that in the coming one-two days all the stock points and go-downs will become empty. We hope the government will soon address the issue before it (strike) hurts commodities and services,â€ť said Easwar.
Ch Babu Rao, State Committee member of CPI(M), which is supporting the strike, demanded that the state and central governments to address the issue.
Babu Rao said, "While the indecent fuel price hike itself is a problem, in Andhra Rs 4 is added to each litre in the name of additional taxes."
He also alleged that the unregulated functioning of toll plazas has become a curse to the traders .
Several truck operators have already stopped services like vegetables, eggs, milk and fish on Tuesday.
AP Lorry Owners Association and workers groups are set to hold a dharna near Keesara toll plaza on Hyderabad -Vijayawada Highway on Wednesday evening.
Several also opined that the livelihood of thousands, who work at eateries on national highways has been affected as there is less vehicular rush.
Andhra Pradesh Women and Child Welfare Minister Paritala Sunitha has asked officials to see that there is no delay in the supply of eggs and other nutrition to Anganwadi centres.