Lorry owners-cum-drivers involved in transporting goods from the railway goods shed at Koodal Pudur here to the godowns of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation visited the Collectorate here on Monday along with their family members seeking a solution to forcible overloading of their vehicles.
They alleged that private individuals, who had obtained contract for transporting the goods, were forcing them to carry 15 tonnes of load in trucks permitted to carry only 10 tonnes.
When regular lorry owners refused to carry such heavy load, the contractors began engaging other vehicles.
T. Bhupathi, a lorry owner-cum-driver, said that a total of 265 people were affected due to the problem.
They had come to the Collectorate along with their family members because it was their families that were affected the most due to the confrontation between them and the contractors.
“We have purchased lorries by pledging our jewels and every other conceivable valuable available with us. Now that the contractors have begun to avoid us, just because we refused to overload our vehicles, our families are suffering without food,” he said.
P. Rajendran, another lorry owner-cum-driver, said that the standoff was costing them a lot as they had been without work since January 1.
“Even otherwise, we get to earn only for 15 days a month, now even that has been spoiled due to the adamant attitude of the contractors,” he said.
S. Ayub Khan said that the regular lorry owners indulged in a flash strike on January 1 opposing forcible overloading of their vehicles.
Then, the police intervened in the matter and advised the contractors to load only the permitted quantity in every vehicle.
“Nothing fruitful transpired after that as the contractors continued to insist on overloading,” he said.