Karnataka: Truckers fume over soaring diesel prices | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Truck owners have threatened to go an indefinite strike from March 15 if the Centre fails to consider their demands.
A section of truck drivers on Friday staged a one-day strike across the state, opposing rise in diesel prices and pressing for their other demands. However, the strike call evoked a mixed response.
GR Shanmugappa, general secretary, South Zone Motor Transporter’s Welfare Association, who led the protest on Bengaluru-Tumakuru Road, said: “Continuous increase in diesel and petrol prices has hit the freight transport industry, but the government has not taken any action despite several petitions. If they continue to ignore us, then we will go on an indefinite strike from March 15.”
Truckers say they are struggling due to increasing diesel prices, toll charges, insurance premium, scrapping policy, e-way bill, green tax, BS-VI vehicle cost and cost of spare parts. “Due to Covid-19, there have been fewer loads to transport since last April. Generating revenue has become difficult and we are struggling to pay vehicle EMIs,” said Shanmugappa.
“Earlier, we used to spend Rs 23 per km on diesel and Rs 5 as toll charge, totalling Rs 28 per km. But now we are spending Rs 28 per km on diesel and Rs 6 as toll charge, totalling Rs 34 per km and along with drivers’ daily allowance, it is costing around Rs 40 per km,” he said.
Shanmugappa said that it is increasingly getting difficult to operate vehicles at such a huge cost. “Toll charges are also increasing and new toll gates are being added. The scrapping policy and the green tax being introduced by the government will only force many small vehicle operators to leave the industry,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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