Alleging that the government seems to have turned a blind eye towards their plight, a section of transporters on Saturday said prevailing circumstances may compel them to take vehicles off the road if no relief is announced to mitigate the impact of coronavirus-related lockdown.
"If urgent relief measures are not taken the day is not far away when the transport fraternity of India will be auto compelled to stop its vehicles, which invariably is the scenario on the ground," the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said.
"The government imposed lockdowns and its apathy has pushed the road transport sector to dreadful levels... The temper and the frustration of the members from across the country were uniform and they were in unison in expressing their inability to run their vehicles and feel compelled to halt their vehicles running on roads," AIMTC said after holding a video conference with its members.
It said the participants from across the country were worried over the deteriorating condition of truckers and transporter fraternity in both goods and passenger segment.
(Also read: Transporters demand coronavirus insurance cover for truck drivers, co-workers)
"The government has failed to provide relief to this sector thus giving it a body-blow. The Extension of validity of Motor Insurance ended on May 15, 2020. Without Third-Party insurance the vehicle cannot run on the road. Its validity extension is not yet done and the members are not able to pay up for this, as an average for a single truck comes to about ₹60,000.
"Apart from that there are other expenses like salaries, EMIs, Taxes, Establishment cost, rentals, maintenance etc remains to be serviced, which seem highly unlikely," AIMTC said.
Stating that about 70 per cent of the transport sector is still down, it said there is extreme financial pressure on small operators who are highly fragmented and unorganised.
"The Prime Minister’s thrust for 'Ease of Doing Business' and 'Sabka Vikas' stands to be a dumb failure for the road transport sector. Livelihood and survival of crores of people dependent on this sector is at stake, which may push them to take extreme steps, in a case no benefit or facilitation is coming forth to them," it said.
It said the AIMTC has already submitted a revised minimum rescue package to the government but so far no step has been taken in this regard.
It demanded: "All these statutory compliances, taxes and the fees to be paid upfront must be deferred for this Financial Year as there is no monetary inflow and business revival in short and medium term."
There is a major disruption in the offing in very near future, when a large quantum of vehicles those running on roads (30 per cent) will not be able to ply for want of statutory compliances, it said and added the factual position on the ground is deteriorating with every passing day and there is a strong wave of discontentment and despair all across the country, it said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.