Truck drivers' strike hits movement of 5 lakh vehicles in MP, claims transporters body : The Tribune India

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Truck drivers' strike hits movement of 5 lakh vehicles in MP, claims transporters body

No shortage of fuel at petrol pumps in various districts and major cities of the state, says admiistration

Truck drivers' strike hits movement of 5 lakh vehicles in MP, claims transporters body

Bus and taxi drivers stage a protest during their indefinite strike called by their union members to oppose new penal law of hit-and-run cases against the drivers, in Bhopal on Monday. ANI photo


Bhopal/Indore, January 2

A transporters' body on Tuesday claimed the strike by truck drivers against a provision in the new penal law on hit-and-run accident cases involving motorists has affected the movement of nearly five lakh vehicles in Madhya Pradesh.

However, the administration in various MP districts and major cities like Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur said there was no shortage of fuel at petrol pumps under their areas of jurisdiction.

A large number of people were seen at petrol pumps in Bhopal, Indore and other cities on Tuesday morning to refuel their vehicle tanks amid the drivers' agitation.

Drivers of commercial vehicles, including trucks and tankers, stopped work in parts of Madhya Pradesh from Monday and blocked roads at some places to protest against a provision in the new penal law.

Under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which replaces the colonial era Indian Penal Code, drivers who cause a serious road accident by negligent driving and run away without informing the police or any official from the administration can face punishment of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs 7 lakh.

Talking to PTI, All India Motor Transport Congress former vice president (western region) Vijay Kalra claimed, "Around five lakh small and big vehicles are not able to run in Madhya Pradesh due to the drivers' strike against the new law."

Kalra demanded that the government withdraw the provisions of strict punishment to drivers in "hit-and-run" cases and separate lanes be created for commercial vehicles, especially on highways, to prevent road accidents.

In Gwalior, the agitating drivers staged a protest on Jhansi Road.

According to officials, the public transport facilities in Indore city as well as the operation of inter-city passenger buses have been affected due to the drivers' strike, causing inconvenience to thousands of travellers.

Madhya Pradesh Petroleum Dealers Association president Ajay Singh told PTI in Bhopal that the fuel supply situation will be normalised across the state by Tuesday evening.

"We have persuaded our tanker drivers and they have reached the petrol depots to bring the fuel for supply at petrol pumps," he said.

On Monday night, Bhopal Collector Ashish Singh went to a petrol depot here to monitor the situation of fuel supply.

After the inspection, he said the petroleum companies were carrying out the work of fuel supply through their own vehicles.

"Ten lakh litres of petrol and diesel have been supplied through the vehicles of petroleum companies. People do not need to panic and queue up at the fuel stations," he said.

Indore's Ahilya Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Ramesh Khandelwal said if the drivers' strike continues, the supply of essential commodities will worsen which will have a direct impact on consumers.

He said the government should reconsider the provisions of strict punishment in "hit-and-run" cases.

Indore Collector Ilayaraja T said there was no shortage of petrol and diesel in the district and these fuels were being supplied continuously.

The collectors of various other districts including Rewa, Alirajpur, Anuppur, Shahdol and Narmadapuram also appealed to the people not to panic as adequate supply of fuel was being maintained.

On Monday, state Transport Minister Rao Uday Pratap Singh appealed to the agitating drivers to discuss their issue with the government.

"Enacting a law doesn't mean it was made to take penal action against them. They should sort out the issue through discussions. We will talk to them," he said, adding the government will ensure smooth movement of people and vehicles on priority.

#Madhya Pradesh

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