Transporters' body says 65% trucks sitting idle due to spiralling fuel prices
Truck operators' body AIMTC has said 65 per cent of the total trucks in the country are sitting idle due to spiralling fuel prices, corruption and no tangible relief to transporters, hit hard by Covid-19.
All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) is the apex body of transporters, representing about 95 lakh truckers and other entities.
Unbridled hike in fuel prices and rampant extortion at border check-posts in states have hit truckers hard, and if the government fails to intervene, disruption of transport services cannot be ruled out, AIMTC said.
Diesel price on Monday hit a fresh record high after rates were hiked by 58 paise per litre, while petrol price was up 33 paise, taking the cumulative increase in rates in 16 days to ₹9.46 a litre and ₹8.3 per litre, respectively.
"The operations are increasingly becoming unviable as about 60 per cent of the transport operating cost is of diesel and about 20 per cent constitute toll. Already, the demand is low and the idling of the vehicles is at about 65 per cent. More and more small operators are going bust and vehicles are coming to a halt," AIMTC President Kultaran Singh Atwal told PTI.
The government failed to provide any tangible relief to the road transport sector or provide any facilitating environment to the segment for a come-back, he said, adding extortion of truckers was also rampant in different states.
"Even after writing to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, the situation on the ground has not changed. The corruption in various states like in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi etc at the hands of RTOs and police is getting unbearable," AIMTC alleged.
AIMTC has been issuing similar statements and threats of disruption in services regularly for past few months.
"The small operators are unable to pay EMIs and interest. There are reports of harassment by bank officials threatening the vehicle owners for seizing of the vehicles. Under the circumstances, plying of vehicles are being tough increasingly," AIMTC Secretary General Naveen Gupta said.
Earlier, the organisation had sought a minimum rescue package from the government saying that the truckers have been hit hard due to Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown.