The transport strike intensified on its second day on Saturday, with trucks that were in transit joining the strike. Transport operators ferrying essential commodities are also likely to join the agitation.

“We held meetings with Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari before the strike commenced. But since then we have not been able to meet any Ministers,” said Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of the core committee of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC). Mr. Singh said if their demands were not fulfilled, transporters ferrying essential commodities would join the agitation.

AIMTC had called for the nationwide strike to protest against the hike in diesel prices and third-party insurance premiums. They have demanded the government to overhaul the toll collection policy. The AIMTC, in a release, said that the transport industry suffered a loss of Rs. 8,000 crore and other industries lost business of around Rs. 20,000 crore.

Abhishek Gupta, treasurer, Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA), said, “The first day is always a warm-up. It takes time for the word to spread. Mathadi workers might join our strike if the situation doesn’t improve.” The BGTA held a dharna at Azad Maidan on Saturday. Ashok Rajguru, BGTA vice-president, said, “Around 70,000 trucks have joined the agitation in the larger Mumbai metropolitan region. Our members have faced losses of Rs. 640 crore, but we have no option but to continue with the strike.”

70,000 trucks have joined the agitation in Mumbai. We have faced losses of Rs. 640 crore, but have no option but to strike

Ashok Rajguru

Vice-president, Bombay Goods

Transport Association

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