The mass protest by over 2 lakh truckers has brought life in Uttar Pradesh to a standstill, impacting the supply chain and causing widespread disruptions across the state. The agitation, triggered by opposition to proposed stringent penalties in hit-and-run cases under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, has left major cities and key transportation routes crippled.
Supply Chain Disruptions: The protest has led to a significant absence of at least 2 lakh trucks and over 2,000 buses, along with auto-rickshaws and taxis, resulting in the disruption of essential supplies. The movement of critical items such as fuel, medicines, fruits, vegetables, and cooking gas cylinders has been severely hampered.
Regional Impact: The repercussions of the agitation have rippled across divisions including Meerut, Aligarh, Agra, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Kanpur, and Bareilly. Widespread shortages occurred as many fuel stations reported running dry, prompting authorities to deploy police to restore order.
Incidents and Turmoil: In Mainpuri, clashes erupted on Karhal highway between police personnel and protesters. In Sultanpur, commercial vehicle passengers and drivers were forcibly stopped and assaulted in Kotwali Nagar. Additionally, a UPSRTC bus driver faced assault, necessitating police intervention.
Impact on Essential Supplies: The strike has also affected the supply of cooking gas cylinders. Bharatish Mishra, President of Kanpur LPG Distributors Organization, revealed a significant shortfall in daily cylinder transportation, affecting districts like Kanpur Dehat, Orai, Jhansi, and others.
Economic Repercussions: Gorakhpur witnessed panic buying, leading to a surge in vegetable prices. The Mahewa Mandi, a vital fruit and vegetable wholesale market, remained deserted due to the strike, impacting traders and consumers alike.
Transportation Standstill: In Basti, National Highway-28 faced a blockade by bus and truck drivers for three hours. Hundreds of buses at Dumariyaganj, Mehdawal, and Balrampur remained parked in local depots throughout the day.
Price Escalation and Market Impact: The strike has triggered price hikes in essential commodities. Rakesh Jaiswal from Hardoi’s vegetable and fruit association highlighted the impact on prices, citing examples like potatoes jumping from Rs 9 to Rs 20 per kg and peas escalating from Rs 18 to Rs 36 per kg.
Desperate Search for Transport: In Prayagraj, passengers were seen desperately searching for means of transportation at the Civil Lines bus station. Meerut reported over 10,000 stranded trucks, prompting the district transport association to appeal for solidarity with the protesters.
Public Transport Standstill: Transport Nagar Vyapar Mandal President TPS Aneja in Lucknow emphasized that essential goods transport, including over 15,000 trucks daily, has come to a halt. UPSRTC buses and taxis have also joined the strike against the new provision, exacerbating the transportation crisis.
The standoff continues to unfold, with citizens grappling with the far-reaching consequences of this extensive trucker’s protest.