South Indian people need to take precautionary measures very soon as a lot of commodities are going to go of the roads starting tomorrow. Over 15 lakh transport vehicles, spanning Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry are set to go off the roads indefinitely from March 30th. These include the transport of many essential commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar, pulses, sand, cement etc. The one saving grace for the South Indian people is that the South India Motor Transport Association has decided to exempt basic necessities like water, milk and petrol from the unprecedented strike.
A negotiation will soon take place between the transport association and the various state government, striving to arrive at a harmonious solution. The secretary of SIMTA G Durga Prasad was quoted saying “If our president and office bearers are arrested during the strike, we may first stop the transportation of LPG gas, followed by other essential commodities.” As a first step towards negotiating with the transporters, the transport minister of Telangana, P Mahender Reddy held a meeting with the lorry owners and members of SIMTA and has ordered a full fledged enquiry into allegations by the lorry drivers about being burdened with excessive taxes at toll booths.
SIMTA leader Durga Prasad had earlier accused the toll plazas of misusing the enhancement clause in the agreement with the government that they can increase the toll rates by five percent every year if the lorry population does not increase. He said that despite there being nearly a twenty percent rise in the lorry population, the toll plazas are unnecessarily hiking their rates, thus causing a lot of inconvenience to a lot of lorry drivers.
The only people to suffer from this unwarranted dispute are the common people who depend largely on the effective transportation of these essential commodities for their day to day survival. One only hopes that this dispute is resolved as soon as possible and a resumption of normalcy is brought about.