Private buses and lorries in the State are expected to stay off the road on April 1 as a mark of protest against the hike in third-party insurance premium, partial de-regulation of diesel prices, and anti-dumping duty on import of tyres. While lorry owners are expected to be on strike indefinitely, private bus owners are likely to stage a token strike for a day or two.

Their strike is in solidarity with a nation-wide agitation called by national bodies such as the All India Motor Transport Congress, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Associations (ACOGOA) and the All India Bus Operators’ Confederation (AIBOC). Apart from hitting supply of essential commodities, the strike is expected to affect normal life in coastal Karnataka where private buses provide a bulk of transport services.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, ACOGOA president B. Channa Reddy termed government taxation of the transport sector as “exploitative”. AIBOC president K. Rajavarma Ballal said, “The rise in the rate of insurance premium for third-party motor policy is a culmination of the anti-road transport policy of the government.”

He said that buses would stay off the road for two days in coastal Karnataka and for one day in other districts.

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