Patna: Thousands of trucks in Bihar remained off the roads since late Friday night (January 15) as part of an indefinite strike by the Bihar Truck Owners’ Association (BTOA) to protest against the state government’s new mining policy.
The BTOA has called the truck strike against the government’s decision last year that banned the transportation of sand and stone chips on dumpers and trucks having 14 or more wheels. The government claimed that it took the decision to prevent overloading by freight vehicles on the roads.
As per reports, hundreds of trucks are standing on bypass roads in Patna and other roads in the state. Long queues of trucks on roadsides have also disrupted normal traffic on several national highways and state highways.
BTOA president Bhanu Shekhar Prasad Singh said that the truck strike is a total success all across the state and truck owners, drivers, helpers and other staff will start staging protests on the roads from Saturday afternoon.
He further alleged that the government ban on transportation of sand and stone chips on dumpers and trucks having more than 12 or more wheels is “illegal”. “There is no such rule anywhere in the country, it is useless,” he added.
The truck drivers are also demanding that the government should withdraw another order to reduce the size of trucks having 12 or more wheels by three and half feet. “Both decisions are against the interest of truck business. Truck owners have no option left but to strike to express their dissent as the government acted against us.,” Singh said.
Also read: Bihar: Nearly 5 Lakh Trucks Join Indefinite Strike; Transport of Essential Goods Likely to be Hit
He also warned the government to fulfil their demands at the earliest, if it wants to reduced the impact of the strike on business and economy.
Earlier in the last week of December 2020, BTOA had gone on a daylong strike and staged a statewide protest to register their disagreement.
Patna district Truck Owners’ Association president Dhanjay Kumar Singh said that truck strike is bound to affect the livelihood of thousands of labourers involved in loading and unloading of goods. Besides, traders engaged in construction materials, food grains, fruit, vegetable and other items are also likely to be affected by the truck strike.
Expressing similar views Lakhan Yadav, a truck owner in Patna said, “The truck strike is bound to affect the state’s economy, with the transport sector already going through a slowdown as business is witnessing decrease.”
Meanwhile, with the indefinite strike of trucks underway, the price of essential goods, fruits, vegetables and other goods are also likely to go up in the coming days.