On Sunday night, people were standing with their vehicles in the long queues outside the petrol pumps, waiting for their turn to get a full tank. No, this is not a case of any festive offer by petrol pump owners, neither it is because the prices were to hike from the next day. It is because the citizens are afraid that they may not get the chance to refuel in the coming week.
Indore & many cities of Madhya Pradesh are facing the problem of Petrol Pumps running out of petrol & diesel supply. This followed after the transport owners, including truck & tanker service providers have been on a strike from past few days, protesting the hike in petrol prices.
As a result, the fuel tankers are not supplying to the city’s fuel stations, and hence petrol pumps have gone dry. This has called for a major petrol pump station strike in the state & most importantly in the city.
Recently, the government of Madhya Pradesh hiked the rate of VAT (Value Added Tax) charged on Petrol & Diesel. The truck operators have started a strike in protest against the hike in the lifetime road tax both on the new and old vehicles, hike in the VAT on diesel and alleged extortion in the RTO check posts, said Ashok Malpani, president of Shree Transport Association of Bhopal.
The transporter community was not very happy with the decision and what followed was a long strike. No commercial transport vehicles are operating in the state.
As per the reports, around 15 lakh trucks have stopped operating across the state, to participate in the transport strike. The strike has caused a revenue loss of around Rs. 300 crores to the government up till now.
Praveen Agrawal, the media coordinator from Association of Parcel Transport and Freight Owners, told Times of India that the government had not even responded to or contacted the association to mitigate over their demands.
“The strike will continue indefinitely as the government has not taken any decision regarding our demands so far. Today being Sunday most businesses are closed and the real effect of the strike will be apparent tomorrow, the first working day after the strike. Many businesses have been affected due to the strike and many more will,” Agrawal told TOI.
Accusing the government of ignorance, he advocated the idea of going on strike, as they believe that there is no other way to communicate their demands and motive. To move ahead with the strike, transporters of Indore have decided to stage a demonstration to oppose the government’s move of the tax hike. On Monday, the transporters will collectively submit their vehicle papers and Keys to the RTO office in Indore to exhibit their agitation.
There has been no clarity regarding how long can this strike go, but it has been affecting the local transport & daily lifestyle in the city. Indore city is considered as the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh and houses major industries. An on-paper population of around 30 lakh people, will severely get affected with the strike.