Mysuru: Trucks remained off roads for the eighth consecutive day today to press for their demands even as the government said truckers cannot hold the government to ransom.
Lakhs of trucks (over 4,500 in Mysuru) have been off the roads since July 20 as truckers are protesting against high diesel prices, removal of all toll barriers across the country and reduction of third-party insurance premium.
The transport of essential commodities including agricultural and horticultural produce like fruits and vegetables have been affected and the farmers are among the worst affected. Loads of horticulture products that are usually transported to Kerala and Tamil Nadu from Mysuru have not been sent and those goods that have arrived from other States have not been unloaded.
With no signs of an end to the strike, there are growing concerns on the impact on supply of essential commodities in case the strike continues. At present, there are no movements of trucks in and out Mysuru and markets have come to a standstill. All these days, consumers were banking on stocks that are slowly emptying now. Supplies, both goods and vegetables, have been hit and the prices are set to skyrocket as it is a weekend and generally there will be a demand for goods.
Added to the truckers’ strike, today the entire Bandipalya market was shut as the traders extended their support to the strike. As if to coincide with the Lunar Eclipse this evening, the traders had declared that they will support the strike. Following this, over 1,200 shops and 400 godowns remained closed, seriously affecting business.
On an average, business worth Rs. 30 to 40 crore takes place at Bandipalya a day. Businessmen trade in pulses, onions, millets, rice, ragi and other goods. Today with the bandh, the regular auction was cancelled.
According to truck owners, the strike will be intensified and they were planning to withdraw supplies of fruits, vegetables and oil.
Most of the manufacturing units in Mysuru have either staggered production or stopped production in total as there are no raw materials available. The movement of incoming raw materials and outgoing finished goods has come to a standstill, said industrilaists.