September 29, 2015
The All India Lorry Owners Association has announced that there are no changes in its plans of going on a nationwide indefinite strike from October 1 onwards, condemning the centre. About 25,000 lorries will come to a standstill in Coimbatore alone, as a result of the strike, incurring losses of about Rs.2 crores per day.
A press meet was held at the Coimbatore Lorry Owners Association office today. While addressing the mediapersons, the association’s president KS Kaliaperumal said, “The meeting of lorry owners from all over the country was held on the 28th in Delhi. In the past 10 years, the 29 private toll booth companies had already collected more than 80 percent of the money that they had invested in constructing and maintaining the roads. They have also already decided the toll fee that they are going to impose for the next 19 years. This is badly affecting vehicle owners, traders and entrepreneurs. These contractors are collecting more than 100 percent charges at some toll booths. The Centre must intervene and regulate it. Also, if the Government takes over these toll booths and collects annual toll charges like road taxes, it will clear the long queues at the booths.
“With lorries already incurring losses, the Centre’s decision to impose a two percent TDS will only worsen the situation for lorry owners. We want the re-implementation of the previous method.
“Even otherwise the old lorries cannot run faster than 60 kilometres per hour. The government’s order to fix speed control devices in these vehicles is unacceptable. Let these speed control devices be fixed in lorries that are going to be manufactured. We want the old vehicles to be exempted from this rule. These are some of the demands that we are fighting for.”
The strike will bring more than 25,000 lorries in Coimbatore to a grinding halt. Kaliaperumal has said that it will bring loss of revenue of up to Rs.3 crores a day. If the state and central government do not take steps to address these issues, then the strike will be held as planned, he said. If the strike drags on, it will lead to stagnation of essential commodities, which will result in trade losses of crores of Rupees, he warned.