New Delhi | Its been three days now since the truckers called off the strike. Transporters continued their nation wide strike for the third consecutive day today, disrupting supply of goods to various parts of the country. However, the government refused to budge on their demand for scrapping the present toll system.
Supply of essential goods such as milk, vegetables and medicines has been kept out of the purview of the indefinite strike, called by the apex transporters body, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC). According to reports from states including Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, goods supply was impacted.
For toll free India, our members will stage a peaceful dharna at Jantar Mantar today. We will continue our strike till the government comes out with some practical solution to our problem. We are not against paying toll, but we are demanding it in an annualised form, AIMTC President Bhim Wadhwa said.
The electronic-toll collection system as promised by the government is not practical, he said. AIMTC claims to have 87 lakh trucks and 20 lakh buses and tempos across the country under its fold. However, the government has refused to budge from its stance and said it cannot scrap the toll collection system.
Government told It is up to them to continue their strike. The government cannot scrap toll. We have already assured to implement electronic tolling system pan-India by December, government said. Gadkri yesterday appealed them to end the strike, but till now no one has taken any further steps to stop the strike.
AIMTC is demanding scrapping of the existing toll system, saying it is a tool of harassment, while it is seeking a one time payment of taxes and simplification of Tax Deducted at source (TDS) procedure. On the other hand, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) said AIMTC’s suggestion to have fixed annual toll is not rational.
According to the office-bearers of the Ludhiana Goods Transport Association, the strike led to loss of crores. The delivery of goods was also affected with the strike. Traders in the industrial city have no other option other than trucks to supply their goods to other stations.