Petrol-Diesel Shortage Due to Truck Drivers’ Strike: Protests Surge Against Stricter Hit-and-Run Laws in 10 States, Including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh

In response to the approval of new laws in Hit and Run cases by the central government, truck drivers across the country have initiated a strike from Monday. This has led to shortages of essential commodities such as petrol, diesel, and vegetables in various states.

Truck drivers nationwide have rejected the newly proposed laws in Hit and Run cases, resulting in the halt of vehicle operations. As a consequence, heavy vehicles, including trucks, have been parked at various locations in states such as MP and Rajasthan. In 10 states, including MP and Rajasthan, petrol and diesel pumps are reported to be empty. Long queues at petrol pumps have been observed, affecting the supply of fruits, vegetables, milk, and agricultural goods. Transporters are reaching out to ensure the delivery of essential supplies, especially in remote areas.

Amrit Lal, President of the All India Transport Congress, mentioned that transporters have not officially announced the strike so far. A decision regarding this matter will be made in the meeting scheduled to take place in Delhi on Tuesday. Currently, truck drivers are parking their vehicles and refusing to operate them.

Madhya Pradesh has experienced significant effects, with around 900 buses halted in Indore. Vijay Kalaria, an official from the Association in Madhya Pradesh, stated that the state has around six lakh trucks, and the strike has paralyzed two lakh of them within two days. The situation may worsen with the power of announcements. It is highlighted that there are approximately 95 lakh trucks in the country, and over 30 lakh are currently non-operational.

As of today, the strike is impacting Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

Cities like Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, and Jabalpur are witnessing bus stands with stationary buses. In Indore alone, nearly 900 buses are not operating. The School Bus Service Operator Committee’s chairman, Shiva Kumar Soni, stated that school buses and vans will remain inactive on Tuesday. Over 1.25 lakh school buses and vans are currently non-operational in the state. Due to the strike, five schools in Bhopal have declared a holiday on January 2nd.

Understanding Hit and Run Cases

A “Hit and Run” case refers to an incident where the driver involved in a vehicle collision leaves the scene, abandoning the vehicle. In such cases, if the affected person is injured and requires immediate medical attention or primary care, the victim can be saved. According to the old laws, the punishment for Hit and Run cases involved a two-year jail term and compensation for the victim.

The new law for Hit and Run cases imposes stricter penalties: a jail term of up to 10 years if a death occurs, and a fine of up to 7 lakh rupees. This penalty applies not only to truck drivers but also to bus, taxi, and auto-rickshaw drivers. The new rules will be applied uniformly to commercial vehicle drivers, bringing about significant changes in how these cases are handled.

Legal Implications of Hit-and-Run Cases in India

In the Indian Penal Code and the Motor Vehicles Act passed by the Parliament, specific provisions address the consequences of “death caused by rash or negligent driving” in hit-and-run cases. According to these laws, if a driver, without reporting to the police or magistrate, flees the scene after causing someone’s death due to reckless driving or negligence, they may face imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine of ₹7 lakh.

Legal Ramifications After Identification of the Driver

Once the driver is identified, cases are registered under IPC sections 279 (rash driving), 304A (death due to negligence), and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life). The driver can face imprisonment for up to two years. In the case of an accident, the vehicle’s operator is required to remain at the scene.

Concerns for Drivers

If you are staying at the scene, you may have to confront the wrath of the crowd. Truckers, who transport essential goods from one city to another, are particularly affected by the direct consequences of a strike. The halt in the supply chain can lead to shortages of milk, vegetables, and fruits, affecting the general public directly. The shutdown can also result in the suspension of petrol and diesel supply, causing problems for local transportation and the general population.

Impact of Truck Strikes on Common People

The direct impact of such strikes can be observed on ordinary citizens. Due to the truck strike, there may be a disruption in the supply of essential commodities like milk, vegetables, and fruits. Additionally, the availability of petrol and diesel may be affected, causing difficulties in local transportation. The strike may result in a shortage of vital goods, affecting the general public.

Widespread Truck Strike in Several States

On the third day of the truck strike (January 1st), traffic jams were reported in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab. Bus stands were deserted in Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Surguja, Jagdalpur, and other districts of Chhattisgarh. In Indore, Madhya Pradesh, around 900 buses did not operate. In Bhopal, people flocked to petrol and diesel pumps when they came to refill their vehicles, leading to heavy crowds. In Balaghat, the police had to resort to lathi charge to control the crowd at petrol pumps.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.