Lorry owners mull strike over fuel price

South Zone Motor Transporters’ Welfare Association (SIMTA) has appealed to both the Central and State governments to reduce the price of diesel by August 9, failing which it would call for an indefinite strike.

G.R. Shanmugappa, general secretary of the association, which is an apex body of lorry owners of the southern States, told the media in Erode on Wednesday that the price of diesel increased by ₹28 a litre in the last one year and the price was hiked 36 times. He said that of the 26 lakh lorries in South Indian States, less than seven lakh lorries were operated for essential services while over 40% of lorries could not be operated.

“Both the governments should reduce the taxes on diesel and reduce the price”, he said, and wanted Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to keep his promise to reduce the price of diesel by ₹ 4.

Mr. Shanmugappa said the license agreement for toll fee collection at 571 toll plazas across the country, including 33 in Tamil Nadu, had expired. “But the fees continue to be collected at those toll plazas”, he said. He urged the governments to invite them for talks and arrive at an amicable solution. “If they fail to hold talks, we will hold a meeting and call for an indefinite strike”, he said.

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