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Over 5 lakh trucks go off the roads in Telangana, Andhra

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Hyderabad/Vijayawada/Bengaluru, March 30 (IANS) The movement of goods in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was hit on Thursday as over five lakh trucks went off the roads while transporters in other southern states were set to join the indefinite strike from midnight.

The lorry owners’ associations in the Telugu states said the members suspended transportation services from 6 a.m. in accordance with the decision taken by the South Zone Motor Transporters’ Welfare Association in support of their demands.

The association has exempted essential services like transport of vegetables, milk and petrol from the strike.

Andhra Pradesh Lorry Owners’ Association claimed that three lakh trucks had stopped plying. The association in Telangana said as many as 2.70 lakh trucks were off the roads.

Some trucks and mini lorries were operating to supply essential goods.

The truckers are seeking withdrawal of the Central government order on increased third party insurance, challan fees and penal amounts.

Transporters are opposing the steep increase of 50 per cent in Third Party Premium (TPP) for commercial vehicles.

They say the move will further cripple the transport community, which was already suffering due to adverse economic conditions created by the increased toll gate charges, high cost of spare parts and diesel.

The association is also opposing the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2016 and the vehicle scrapping policy.

Stating that there was no link between the age of a vehicle and pollution, the transporter’s body argues that it was vehicle fitness that was important.

Scrapping vehicles, which have completed 15 years of age, would render road transport operations economically unviable, it said.

It is also demanding a uniform policy all over the country in fixation of diesel rates and toll gate fee.

Meanwhile, the Southern Region Truckers’ Welfare Association said around 22 lakh trucks were set to go off the roads after Thursday midnight in the southern states.

"The increase of insurance premium will affect the truckers badly. It will be difficult for truckers to pay that much amount," General Secretary of the Southern Region Truckers’ Welfare Association G.V. Shanmugappa told reporters in Bengaluru.

The truckers in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will join the strike.

"We will not withdraw our agitation till the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority withdraws the proposal to increase the insurance premium," Shanmugappa said.


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