Staff Reporter

They demand reduction in toll fees

Transportation from AP mostly consists of onions and eggs

Transport firms asked to adjust their schedules

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh Lorry Owners’ Association (APLOA) has appealed to lorry owners in the State to take precautionary measures and avoid sending their lorries towards Orissa from January 6 in view of a bandh call given by the lorry owners in the neighbouring State in support of their various demands.

APLOA general secretary Y.V. Eeswara Rao told a press conference here on Tuesday that the Orissa State Truck Owners Federation had given the bandh call from the midnight of January 6 demanding cancellation of mechanical tax, containing corruption at the border points and permitting five per cent overload on trucks under special conditions.

Mr. Eeswara Rao said that the lorry owners in AP were facing many similar problems and their association had decided to extend full solidarity to their counterparts in Orissa.

One of their demands included a reasonable reduction in the toll fees, as this had proved to be an additional burden on the operators.

The transportation from AP towards Orissa mostly consists of onions and eggs, while it is mostly vegetables from Tamil Nadu. Cabbage and tomato is transported in large quantities from Karnataka towards Orissa.

Alternative steps

The transporters have been asked to make alternative arrangements ahead of the bandh in Orissa.

Traders and transport companies have been asked to adjust their schedules for transporting the commodities and perishable goods much in advance.

In solidarity to their counterparts in Orissa, the lorry owners in the State would also participate in it by not sending their vehicles to that State during the bandh period.

In 2005, the lorry owners of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa observed a bandh, following which mechanical tax was reduced from Rs. 2,550 to Rs.1,100.

But this was again increased to Rs. 1,400 six months ago.

The lorry owners had made strong objection to this, but nothing has been done to remedy the situation, Mr. Rao explained.