The Kancheepuram Lorry Owners Association (KLOA) has urged the Union and State governments to declare and notify a minimum of 15 per cent hike in freight charges since diesel prices have increased.
Talking to media persons here on Friday, KLOA president, S.L.N.S. Vijayakumar, said so far, freight charges for movement of goods within the State and at times for inter-State movement, were always fixed by traders, even though the All India Motor Transport Congress declared a base rate of charges to be paid for movement of goods from major cities to important destinations.
When it came to fixing the deal, traders felt that AIMTC base charges were not binding on them and always preferred to charge lesser than the rates announced by the AIMTC.
For instance, the AIMTC announced an increase of 15 per cent in freight charges immediately after the recent hike in diesel price. But local traders still prefer to engage the services of lorry owners who were willing to move one tonne of consignment for a sum of Rs. 1,100 or even less from Kancheepuram to Tirunelveli.
Worse still, was the charge quoted by them to move one tonne of goods within a 15 to 25 km radius. “They peg the charges around Rs. 120 to Rs. 130 per tonne for local movement. But the lorry owner only feel relieved if he got a minimum of Rs.160 to Rs.175 per tonne,” Vijayakumar added.
Thus in the absence of government-fixed base charges for movement of goods by road, small operators were left at the mercy of traders.
Hence, the KLOA president called upon the Union and State governments to come to the rescue of small goods carrier operators by declaring a flat 15 per cent hike in freight charges or commensurate to the hike in fuel prices, and notifying this. “This will help us negotiate with traders when it comes to fixing of freight charges”, he pointed out.