Business Bureau :
The transporters are already facing numerous problems and the current lockdown and night curfew has added to their woes. In order to curtail the rising COVID-19 cases, the Government has imposed lockdown resulting in economic activity coming to a halt. “With low business volumn and no demand, thousands of trucks are standing idle. The lockdown is no solution to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Instead the Government should search for other alternatives and give boost to economic activity which has come to a standstill,” said Kuku Marwah, President of Nagpur Truckers Unity Association while speaking to The Hitavada. In Vidarbha alone, there are about 20,000 to 25,000 trucks. With trucks lying idle there is loss of business worth about Rs 200 crore to Rs 250 crore daily. Most of the trucks are parked as there is no demand in the market.
“How are we supposed to survive in such condition. Transporters have not recovered from last years COVID blow and now fresh lockdowns are being imposed. The transport business is becoming unviable,” he said. Apart from the lockdown, transporters are already facing host of problems related to exhiborant petrol and diesel prices, high maintenance costs of vehicles, interest payment on bank loans, insurance premium, RTO tax and trained drivers and workers leaving their jobs, he said. “On top of this, the Government is not providing any kind of relief to the transporters. All our suggestions are brushed under the carpet,” he pointed out.
He believes that the traders are not the spreaders of COVID-19 but the people themselves are to be blamed for their conduct. Everyone should abide by the rules in a strict manner and be responsible to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Marwah said, if the Government imposes another lockdown, then it should provide a financial package to the transporters to tide over the situation. He said that the Government should open the lockdown and put strict penalties on the people floating the COVID norms. “Since we have a vaccine, why there is lockdown,” he said. The transporter fraternity has become penniless with no option but to shut operations. Not only the truck owners but the drivers and workers are under heavy financial burden. Most of the workers in the transport industry are searching for alternate jobs. Also, migrant workers are leaving to their home towns. The lockdown is creating more problems for the transporters, he further added.