Union leaders firm on continuing strike
There seems to be no solution in sight to the strike launched by lorry operators across six States in South India from Thursday with the government not taking any decision on their demands.
A majority of the goods transport trucks remained confined to their stands here on Friday. The public, however, are yet to feel the pinch as there were adequate stocks in the market and some trucks continued to move on the roads.
Business at the rythu bazaars was, however, normal as vegetables were normally brought by RTC buses and autorickshaws.
“The pressure would be felt from tomorrow (Saturday) as 80% of the lorry operators have already stopped their vehicle voluntarily. The remaining 20% are single owner/driver vehicles and they continue to operate fearing loss of livelihood,” says president of the Visakha Goods Transport Association B. Satyanarayana. “A total of 15 lakh trucks in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Telanganam and Andhra Pradesh are participating in the strike. These include about three lakh vehicles in A.P. Essential services like medicines, milk and perishables have been exempted from the strike,” he said. “The steep increase of 50 per cent in TPP would further cripple the road transport community, which was already suffering adverse economic conditions due to increased toll gate charges, high cost of spare parts, diesel and tyres. Scrapping vehicles, which have completed 15 years of age, would render road transport operations economically non-viable,” says AP Lorry Owner’s Association vice president M. Janakiram Reddy. “We will continue the strike as there is no response from the government,” Mr. Reddy added.