The beginning of the season is expected to be marked with logjam between the truck owners and the mining firms over ore transportation rates and assured business for their vehicle. The never-ending annual issue is once again likely to raise its head this season. Over 6000 trucker owners are up in arms for rise in transportation fare failing which may resort to complete boycott of ore movement.
As many as 6120 trucks with global positioning system (GPS) are registered with the Directorate of Mines and Geology to ferry 20 million tons of ore at a transportation rate of Rs 11 per ton per kilometers- the business which is not profitable to this sector.
Thousands of people are directly or indirectly depended on the ore transportation business. Having no much profit in hand, the truck operators are not been able to hire drivers and helpers on their vehicle. The truck owners are looking for State government’s support in increasing the annual ore production cap and hike in rates.
Another biggest worry haunting the truck operators are that several politicians are involved in transportation business-snatching away their bread and butter. Also, the major mining firms are alleged to have employed non Goans on the business.
The president of All Goa Truck Owners Association (AGTOA) Nilkant Gawas said that with the cap of 20 million tons, the mining firms have recruited few trucks for transportation of ore and the business is not profitable.
Gawas said that the current rates offered between Rs 7 to Rs 11 per ton per kilometer are not viable. “We are looking for hike upto Rs 14 to 17 per tonnes per kilometer based on the diesel prices and value of ore in the international market,” he said adding despite having GPS, we are forced to put Speed Governance.
Also now government want to make it compulsory fitting of High Security Registration Plates (HSRP), he said demanding that HSRP and Speed Governance be withdrawn.
Also the increased vehicle insurance, road tax amount, the maintenance cost has made the business non profitable for them.