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Truckers in West Bengal on strike; the move timed to cripple supplies during Puja festival

Around 6 lakh truckers in West Bengal went on 72-hour strike from October 16 and the goods supply likely to be hit at a time when the state is gearing up to celebrate Puja festival.

Strike mainly to demand a 25 per cent increase in maximum safe axle weight for goods vehicles

Federation of West Bengal Truck Operators' Association president Subhas Bose said the strike has been called mainly to demand a 25 per cent increase in maximum safe axle weight for goods vehicles plying in West Bengal, claiming that other states have already implemented the rule. Barring a few, around six lakh trucks have gone off-road in the state in support of the strike.

“Revised norms of safe axle weights for transport vehicles have been implemented across the country except West Bengal.   Barring a few, around six lakh trucks have gone off-road in the state in support of the strike, Bose said.

“We have requested all the truckers’ associations to join the 72-hour strike. Most of the organisations participated in the protest but some have not,” Bose said.

 A body of truckers operating at the port and the Calcutta Goods Transport Association have not participated in the strike

Eavucation of cargo from the Kolkata port system was not affected since a body of truckers operating at the port and the Calcutta Goods Transport Association have not participated in the strike.

The truck operators also demanded the removal of unnecessary no-entry points on highways, withdrawal of tax levied at toll plazas and waiving off the road tax for the current fiscal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federation of West Bbengal Truck Operators Association had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to withdraw the tax levied at toll plazas.

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