To discuss issues such as fixing new transporting charges, mandatory installation of GPS for trucks ferrying ore, fixing speed limit and steps to curb dust pollution
PANJIM: With the truck owners rejecting the iron ore transportation rates proposed by the Government, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will chair a crucial meeting on Friday to settle various issues pertaining to the transportation of minerals.
Fixing new transporting charges, mandatory installation of Global Positioning System (GPS) for trucks ferrying ore, fixing speed limit and measures to curb dust pollution, are some of the issues that would be discussed during the meeting.
On Wednesday, following demand for hike in transportation rates, the Government proposed to fix Rs 12.50 per tonne per kilometre for first 10 kilometres, Rs 12 per ton for 10 to 20 kilometres and Rs 11.50 for 20 kilometres and above. The decision was taken during a joint meeting by Chief Minister, Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar and MLAs from mining belts Deepak Pawaskar and Nilesh Cabral.
“We have come to one consensus rate, which should be agreeable to both mining firms and truck owners. Another meeting is scheduled on Friday afternoon with Chief Minister, wherein a final call will be taken on the transportation charges,” Sanvordem MLA Pawaskar said.
The MLA further said that the meeting will also discuss the rules and regulations to be imposed on trucks transporting ore.
“GPS would be mandatory for those transporting iron ore. Also we will fix speed limit for the vehicles, passing through village areas. We will take all steps to ensure smooth transportation,” he said.
Truck owners are demanding between Rs 14 and 17 per tonne per kilometre as against the current rate of Rs 7 to Rs 11 per tonne per kilometre. The truck owners claim that with such a low freight rate, the business not viable.
Truckers reject rate, threaten rasta roko
PONDA: The Dharbandora Truck Owners’ Association (DTOA) on Thursday vehemently rejected the ore transportation rate of Rs 12.50 per tonne per km offered by mining companies and demanded that the truck owners be paid Rs 14 per tonne per km.
At the hour-long meeting at Sarvajanik Ganeshshotav Hall Codli, the DTOA members cited the rates offered to them as poor and not affordable to meet their business expenditure. They have set an October 30 deadline to meet their demands failing which they have threatened to stage a rasta roko on the following day.
It may be recalled that the above rate was fixed at a joint meeting with government authorities, mining companies and truck owners’ association held in Panjim on Wednesday.
According to truck owners, they have bifurcated the rate of Rs 14 for per tonne per km and cited various reasons such as they have to spend Rs 4 on diesel, Rs 4 on maintenance, Rs 1.50 on driver’s salary, Rs 4 as other expenses which makes it Rs 13.50 per tonne per km.
The truck owners rejected the rates citing that the same is not affordable to them and after paying drivers’ salaries, they hardly left any amount in hand to meet their day-to-day needs. They complained saying that they had a bitter experience last year on account of the poor rates offered to them. They further said that they had to spend a huge amount to engage trucks for the mining season such as insurance, road tax, GPS, speed governance, painting etc and complained that are offered very few trips during the week which is difficult to meet their day-to-day needs.
Sanvordem MLA Deepak Pauskar, Sanvordem sarpanch Sandeep Pauskar, Dharbandora sarpanch and Darbandora Truck Owners’ Association president Balaji Gawas, South Goa Truck Owners’ Association president Prakash Desai, Sesa Goa Truck Owners’ Association president Vallabh Dalvi and Jeetendra Naik were present for the meeting.