New Delhi: The nation-wide transporters strike entered the fourth day on Thursday with both truckers and government refusing to stand down from their stated positions.
“It is unfortunate that so far there is no response from the government. We simply cannot run our business in losses, so we are continuing the strike and we will continue till our demands are met,” All India Motor Transport Congress President Charan Singh Lohara said.
The strike by transporters had acquired political colour with the CPI(M) asking the Centre on Wednesday to meet the truckers’ demands, even as senior government officials said Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh could soon announce the stir illegal.
Failing to break ground with the government, the agitating truckers turned to political parties for support, beginning with a meeting with CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and sending letter to Leader of Opposition L K Advani, besides UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Prices of food items, including coarse cereals, vegetables and fruits, are reported to have remained steady in the wholesale market across the country. However, key spot markets for commodities like sugar, potato and maize remained closed as the strike crippled supplies of these goods leading to a rise in prices.
The Centre has advised states to act on the 18-point action plan that it had issued two days back to deal with the situation. It included implementing provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, Essential Services Maintenance Act and National Security Act and impound trucks, if needed, against the striking transporters.
Truckers went on an indefinite strike since Sunday midnight to press for reduction in diesel prices, exemption in service and toll taxes and a single permit for nation-wide transportation among others, affecting transportation in various parts of the country.