After hiking freight charges by 15 per cent the All-India Motor Transport Congress has decided to observe a 24-hour token strike from Wednesday midnight protesting the hike in diesel prices by Rs. 5.

The truckers association, which held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to chart their future course of agitation against the diesel price hike, decided to begin with a token strike, besides serving notice to the government to roll back the price hike within 30 days or face an indefinite strike.

The AIMTC said all the 75 lakh truck owners under it would strike work if the hike was not withdrawn. The office-bearers said the increase had further pushed the cost of operation as the sector was already burdened by the continued increase in toll rates and prices of other components like tyres, spare parts and lubricants.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has sounded an alert across the country directing the States to maintain supply of essential commodities.

The Ministry has brought the matter to the notice of the Cabinet Secretary and decided to set up a control room. Efforts were also under way to hold talks with the truck owners to resolve the matter at the earliest.

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