Truckers call off their strike

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The five-day-old strike by transporters was called off in Odisha on Monday after the nation-wide body of the truckers AIMTC withdrew their protest following a meeting with Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who gave an assurance that their demands will be looked into.

A committee headed by Transport Secretary Vijay Chhibber has been formed in which truckers will also have representatives to look into their demands and a report will be submitted by December 15.

“A committee has been formed headed by the (transport) secretary, which will have representatives of the transporters. All the demands that they have placed and the obstacles they are facing will be studied by the committee and submit its report by December 15,” Gadkari told PTI.

Emerging after a three hour-long meeting, he said: “We will look into their demands and we will consider what we can fulfill. I appealed to them to call off their strike and they have agreed to that.”

Confirming the development, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) President Bhim Wadhwa said transporters have decided to end their stir.

They had gone on strike demanding scrapping of the present toll collection system, which AIMTC says is a tool of harassment for truckers, besides seeking a one-time payment of taxes and simplification of the TDS procedure.

As previous consultations with the government had failed to resolve the deadlock, AIMTC has also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter.

The government has proposed electronic-toll collection system in the entire country by December, but the transporters claim this was not a practical solution as a pilot project in this regard was not successful. .