The Chennai-based Trailer Owners Association (TOA), which moves both import and export cargo meant for three ports – Chennai, Kamarajar and Kattupalli– has urged the Union government as well as the Tamil Nadu state government to take immediate steps to safeguard the trucking industry, which is facing serious trade-related problems.
Addressing the media after taking charge, Shri T.S. Perumal as president and Shri S.R. Raja as secretary of TOA in new term, said that the lorry industry needs urgent intervention by the state as well as Union governments, so that it regains its lost glory.
President Perumal and Secretary Raja stated: “The trucking industry has continued to face crisis after crisis in recent years. The industry continues to suffer from various problems such as badly-maintained roads, levying of heavy tariffs/toll, and steep increase in cost of spare parts and tyres. The industry is also facing huge trouble due to various taxes and insurance charges levied by the Central government. Due to this multi-pronged attack on trucking business, many lorry owners have either forced to sell sizeable number of their vehicles from fleets to stay in the business or decided to leave the business once for all.”
“Therefore, the Central and State governments should take note of this growing problems of trucking industry and take measures to restore the trade from going down the drain. Currently, various private banks are offering loans for new vehicles only. Similarly, we request the banks to provide loans to old vehicles also, which will help many in the trade. Work on port connectivity road projects, being carried out at a cost of around Rs 600 crore, is yet to be completed. While the old road connecting port with outside world is damaged beyond repair, construction of bridge at the Kasimedu Fishing Harbor near the port entrance is yet to be completed. Besides, other roads are full of pot holes. The National Highway Authority (NHAI), which needs to be maintaining roads with good condition, is only focusing on collecting toll. There are issues with the rolling out of FASTTAG, which is mandatory on all vehicles starting December 15. We appeal to the government to solve all technical issues before rolling out on full scale.”