Truck operators in West Bengal today claimed that nearly 80 per cent truckers in the state have joined a strike called by its national body to protest hike in insurance and traffic penalties.
“Nearly three lakh goods vehicles out of 3.85 lakh registered in West Bengal have gone off the roads as most of the truck operators joined the strike protesting the hike in insurance premium and sharp increase in penalties for traffic rule violations,” Federation of West Truck Operators Association president Subhas Bose said.
“IRDA has increased insurance premium by 50 per cent for third party insurance, while penalties have gone up by 300 per cent to 500 per cent for motor vehicle rules violations,” Bose told PTI here.
“The hikes will severely affect the transport business and we demand a roll back,” he said.
There are apprehensions that the indefinite strike, which commenced from April 1, would lead to a scarcity in availability of perishable goods like vegetables, fruits, fish and eggs, thus leading to increase in prices.
Wholesale merchants at Posta, the largest wholesale market in the state of such goods, however, said that so far there has been no impact of the strike on availability of these.
“There is no impact at all so far and all such perishable goods are available at normal price,” Bishwanath Agarwal, general secretary of Posta Bazar Merchants Association, said.
Meanwhile, IANS reported that truckers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had intensified their strike on the fifth day on Monday, staging protests to press their demands.
The striking truck owners took out rallies, staged sit-ins and even cooked food on highways to draw the government’s attention towards their demands.
More than 5 lakh trucks have remained off the roads in both states, paralysing the movement of goods.
Faced with a considerable impact on the supply of essential commodities, the transport departments in both the states were gearing up to make alternate arrangements.
Transporters across south India have been on strike demanding withdrawal of increase in the premium for third party insurance, hike in penalty and toll fee.