Settlement as truck owners called off strike

In a bid to aid the growth of the local economy, the Centre on Saturday announced a 50 per cent reduction of the toll rate charged for cargo vehicles plying within a district.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath made the announcement as part of the settlement reached with truck owners, who called off their indefinite strike scheduled from Sunday.

Mr. Nath said that the concession would be extended only to those vehicles that were registered within, or had their address in, the specified district. Farmers, sugarcane producers and local cargo operators are expected to benefit. The Centre created a new category for three-axle trucks and pegged its base toll rate at Rs. 2.40 per km — approximately 10 per cent higher than the base rate levied on two-axle vehicles.

Three-axle trucks are the more popular in the country as they carry more weight and cause less damage to roads.

An agreement was reached to resolve issues such as the creation of highway facilities, service roads, training schools and road safety measures through negotiations.

All-India Motor Transport Congress president G.R. Shanmugappa was present.

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