New Delhi: The transport sector in India is facing a major crisis as truck drivers across the country have gone on strike against the new hit-and-run law enacted by the central government. The law imposes a harsh penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh for drivers involved in fatal accidents. The truckers claim that the law is unfair and unjust and that it will ruin their livelihoods.
The strike, which started on Monday, has affected the movement of goods and passengers in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Uttarakhand. Drivers are leaving their trucks on the road, causing traffic jams and disruptions. The situation may worsen today as more drivers are expected to join the protest.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), a non-political body representing the transport industry, has expressed its solidarity with the drivers and has called for a meeting of transport unions across the country this afternoon. The meeting will decide the future course of action and the mode of protest. AIMTC President Amrit Lal Madan said that the strike will continue until the government withdraws the law or modifies it to make it more reasonable and humane.
Madan said that there are more than 95 lakh trucks registered in the country, out of which 70 lakh trucks operate on the road at any given time. He estimated that 30 to 40 percent of these trucks are currently off the road, which means that more than 25 lakh trucks are not running. He warned that this would have a severe impact on the supply of essential goods, such as food, medicine, fuel, and raw materials, and would affect the economy and the common people. He appealed to the government to listen to the grievances of the drivers and resolve the issue amicably.