Coastal truckers demand hike in freight charges

Coastal truckers demand hike in freight charges

The Karavali Karnataka Lorry Malakara Sangha has demanded a hike in freight charges for transporting goods.

Speaking to mediapersons, association’s office-bearer Varun Chowta said lorry owners have been bearing the brunt of frequent hike in diesel price and other spare parts and are finding the going tough.

He said lorry woners get Rs 980 for per tonne cargo loaded and transported at present. But the maximum limit for loading the cargo is 21 tonnes. If a lorry with 21 tonne weighing goods has to be taken to Bellary, the owner will get only Rs 19,950; in this, Rs 12,000 will have to spent on the diesel. The remaining should be paid to the driver and cleaner’s salary, bank loan and other expenditures, he explained.

He said the overloading of trucks should be checked. The transport agencies, in a bid to earn profit, overload the goods. The government should direct all the transport agencies not to overload the trucks and if the rules are flouted, the agency should be held responsible, he demanded.

Chowta warned, “If the demands of the Sangha are not met, then all the trucks across Karnataka will stay off the road for an indefinite period till the demands are met. This will, in turn, result in the suspension of movement of all goods, including food grains and other essential commodities.”

He charged that some transport agencies in harbour weigh the trucks outside and provide the fake bill stating that they were weighed inside harbour area. As per the rules, the weighing of goods and lorries inside harbour is mandatory, he added.

He said that there is 24-hour loading and unloading of goods facility at the Port. In the recent times, the entry of lorries inside the port after 3.30 pm has been stopped. As a result, the lorry drivers have to wait till the following day to load or unload the goods. There is a delay in loading of goods during public holidays. As a result, the owners are incurring losses and there is a need to introduce a system for loading and unloading of goods throughout the day, he demanded.

Chowta said, “The transport agencies collect PAN card from the lorry owners. But they failed to issue TDS certificates to the lorry owners while claiming the concession from the government.”

Secretary of the association Sachin Kulai said the lorries registered in Karnataka should be used to transport goods within the state as per the rules. But some transport agencies have been issuing duplicate bills for the lorries from outside the state and allowing them to transport the goods. The Carrying and Forwarding (C and F) Agencies have been making the lorries to wait for five to seven days while clearing the goods from the godown. As a result, the lorry owners are incurring losses. There is a need to fix a time frame for clearing the goods and if there is any delay, then the loss incurred by the lorry owners should be borne by the C and F agencies, Kulai said.