Over half of Tamil Nadu’s trucks off the roads

August 19th, 2011 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 19 (IANS) Over 130,000 trucks, or over half the total, in Tamil Nadu did not run Friday owing to the indefinite strike called by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), officials said.

“Out of the 239,000 trucks in the state, around 55 percent (131,400) did not ply today (Friday). As this is the first day of the strike, the impact on the common people is not much,” a police official told told IANS.

However, the state transport department officials did not agree with the police figures and said the number was much lower.

The AIMTC called a strike in the southern zone comprising Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Puducherry.

According to AIMTC, more than 1.5 million trucks were off the roads in these regions.

The trucker’s association has demanded reduction in toll fees for multi-axle vehicles; collection of only 50 percent of the toll fee for vehicles in their native districts and 25 percent for empty vehicles as per the agreement reached with the central government last December.

In Tamil Nadu, the Confederation of Surface Transport called on the Chief Minsiter J.Jayalalithaa and assured her that their association would continue to ply their trucks and would not participate in the strike.

According to vegetable wholesellers here, supplies of vegetables are arriving and the impact would be felt only if the strike continues for second or third day.

However prices of vegetables have already gone up by couple of rupees, housewife Vasantha Raghunathan told IANS.

The Tamil Nadu government has appointed a nodal officer to monitor the situation due to truckers’ strike and has set up a control room for information and assistance in the transport commissioner’s office.

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