Andhra Pradesh

‘New axle load norms may offer onlyshort-term benefit to truckers’

Road ahead: (From left) V.S.Ananda Kumar, V.Eswara Rao, D.V.Rama Rao and Jozy Daniel in a panel discussion at the transporters’ meet in Vijayawada.   | Photo Credit: ARRANGED

The Union government’s decision to revise the axle load norms allowing greater loads on commercial vehicles, after a gap of more than three decades, is likely to benefit the road transport sector only in the short term, according to Y.V. Eswara Rao, the general secretary of the A.P. Lorry Owners’ Association.

He was speaking at a panel discussion recently on the ‘Road Ahead’ organised as a part of the third edition of the Transporters’ Meet held here by the Hindu BusinessLine in association with the Indian Oil Corporation and Yes Bank.

The new norms are to regularise the additional payload on the trucks higher than the permissible levels.

He also said the new norms allowing the truckers to increase the loads by 20-25% might raise safety concerns and they also affect the life of roads.

GST issues

He agreed that thanks to GST and dispensing with check-posts, speedier movement of cargo had become possible. But he cautioned that “the government is introducing digitisation without creating the requisite infrastructure. It brings a plethora of problems in its wake.”

He said 25 crore people were directly or indirectly dependent on the transport sector. The government could make the sector thrive and boost overall economic growth by giving it infrastructure status.

V.S. Ananda Kumar, the General Manager of VRL Logistics Limited, said the GST documentation was cumbersome and time-consuming and the procedures could be simplified.

‘Drivers needed’

There were operational difficulties and technical issues to be resolved, he agreed.

The shortage of drivers, he said, was a serious issue and “at any given time a significant number of our trucks in our fleet of more than 5,500 trucks are lying idle for want of drivers. Something has to be done about it.”

D.V. Ramana Rao, the Chief General Manager (Retail Sales), Telangana & A.P. of the Indian Oil Corporation, said the IOC was making all efforts to make petrol pumps friendly to drivers and dormitories were being set up in select outlets for their benefit.

“We are providing space to drivers to park their trucks and to take rest. The safety, comfort and rest of drivers is our primary concern. We have also introduced cashless transaction card.”

The card had been received very well by the truckers community, including drivers, as it could help them arrange payments for fuel.

Jojy Daniel, the regional business leader, commercial vehicle loans of Yes Bank, said “Ensuring ease of finance to the industry is the main motto of our bank. It is an evolving industry and we will do our best to help the truckers, and all those dependent on the segment.”

Permits post bifurcation

Several truckers raised the issue of counter signature permits necessary for free movement of goods between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

They said in the wake of bifurcation of the State the problem had arisen and so far the two States had made no attempt to sort it out. “As a result, the truckers in both the States are suffering heavily. We expect both States to respond positively and sort out the problem,” Eswara Rao said.

G. Nagasridhar, Deputy Editor, Business Line, moderated the discussion.

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | May 8, 2021 8:03:56 AM |

Next Story