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80% trucks off roads in Tamil Nadu; fuel tankers set to join protest

Truckers from Tamil Nadu, led by the South India Motor Transport Association (SIMTA), have commenced an indefinite strike from Thursday after their demands put forward before the state and central governments failed to draw positive response.

80% trucks off roads in Tamil Nadu; fuel tankers set to join protest
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Coimbatore

Essential commodities such as milk, water, vegetables and medicines have been exempted from the strike. However, SIMTA general secretary G R Shanmugappa said that petrol and diesel tanker operators have also decided to extend support to the strike from this weekend.

“Some of these tankers have already gone off road. There could be a fuel crunch in the coming days. This would force trucks carrying essential commodities too to go off road as well,” he told DTNext adding that the strike would continue till their demands were met. The strike was a success at Namakkal, Tiruchengode, Salem and Sankagiri the truckers’ hubs in Tamil Nadu. Inter-state transportation between Tamil Nadu and Kerala through Walayar in Coimbatore district and between Karnataka through Jujuvadi in Krishnagiri district were affected. Tamil Nadu Sand Lorry Owners Federation also extended support to the strike and stopped operations for a day on Thursday. 

State Lorry Owners Federation-Tamil Nadu (SLOF-TN), that comprises 85 truckers’ associations in Tamil Nadu claimed that out of the 4.5 lakh trucks and goods carriers in the state, 80 per cent had gone off the road from Thursday. “The rest are mostly returning empty after unloading goods in north India or transporting essential commodities,” said MR Kumarasamy, president of SLOF-TN. 

“Close to 40,000 trucks are operated from Tamil Nadu to other states. We stopped booking to other states from Monday and it has affected the transportation of commodities such as cement, sugar, metal, food, turmeric, textiles and machinery worth Rs 12,000 crore,” claimed V Rajavadivel, state president, Tamil Nadu Lorry Booking Agents Federation.

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