Truckers’ strike in India from December 5

November 27th, 2010 - 8:59 pm ICT by ANI  

By Karan Kapoor

Ludhiana, Nov.27 (ANI): The All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), one of the largest bodies of truck operators in the country, declared an indefinite nationwide truckers’ strike will be carried out across India on December 5 to focus on toll scam.

Interacting with mediapersons, AIMTC president Charan Singh Lohara said there is a scam in the toll tax collections and wants the Central Government to order a probe into it.

Lohara further said the AIMTC had sought information from the Union Surface Transport Ministry about the daily collections of toll taxes at various national highways.

The information was denied to him as the Ministry maintained it had no mechanism in place to collect such data.

Lohara also said he had previously raised the issue of toll taxes on many occasions at meetings with top officials of the Ministry, but they continued to dodge the issue.

“An all-India truckers’ strike will be carried out for our voices to be heard. All transport offices will remain shut. Our topic of concern is toll tax. This is not the first time that we are doing such an agitation,” said Lohara.

“The Government has cheated us since 1957 when toll tax came into existence; we have been complaining to the government. The Government has taken enough time to sort our grievances but till now we have not got justice,” he added.

He further alleged the Surface Transport Ministry had ignored the Toll Act that was enacted in the late 1990s, and allotted various highways to private firms under Minimum Concession Agreements (MCAs).

He added that road construction costs were inflated to as high as rupees 12 crore per km in case of most of the national highways.

Lohara insisted that the Ministry officials have consistently under-assessed the revenue from tolls to benefit the private players since the 1990s.

He contended that despite the huge increase in number of vehicles on national highways, the toll rates have only increased once in a year, and in some cases, twice a year.

Lohara said the Opposition would take up the issue of the toll scam the way they had taken up the 2G telecom spectrum allocation and housing scams. (ANI)

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