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Trucks go off road in Telangana, goods movement hit

Hyderabad: More than 3.5 lakh trucks went off the roads in Telangana, affecting the movement of goods as lorry owners on Wednesday began indefinite strike to press for their demands.

The supply of essential commodities and vegetables was affected in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana.

The strike, which began from midnight, led to a hike in vegetable prices in Hyderabad and other parts of the state as trucks coming from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh were parked at the inter-state border.

Telangana Lorry Owners’ Association (TLOA) called for the strike following failure of talks with the state government on its charter of 11 demands.

It, however, exempted trucks carrying essential commodities like milk, fuel and water for a couple of days.

The lorry owners are demanding that Telangana government slash tax in view of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. They are also demanding the two states to reach an agreement on payment of fixed tax for transport vehicles to ply between the two states.

TLOA president N. Bhaskar Reddy said since quarterly tax of Rs.7,000 was fixed for vehicles to ply across 23 states in the undivided states, the Telangana government should reduce the tax.

The other major demand of the lorry owners is for an agreement between the two states on counter signature permit, which is an annual permit given to trucks for plying between the states on payment of a fixed tax.

Telangana is charging Rs.1,400 as permit fee for Telangana trucks plying in Andhra Pradesh. Truck operators say this is imposing a huge financial burden on them.