Today's Paper

Row over penal action against owners of sand-laden lorries

Staff Reporter

KARUR: A clash of interests between the State Lorry Owners' Federation and Sand Lorry Owners' Associations based in Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal and Karur districts is snowballing into a major controversy. Last week's penal action taken by the Transport Department against overloaded sand-laden lorries at several places in Karur, Namakkal and Erode districts has enraged sand lorry owners in the region, who have warned that the issue might escalate into a major problem not only in the transport sector but also on the law and order front.

Armed with a petition from the federation constituents, the Transport Department slapped a fine of Rs.5,000 on overloaded lorries, many of which were transporting sand in Namakkal, Tiruchengode, Paramathi Velur, Karur and Erode. "Nowhere else are our sand-laden lorries being intercepted, forcibly weighed and made to shed excess load except in these places. Who are the federation people to intercept our lorries?

We transport sand from government quarries. When there are officials to oversee the arrangement what business do these federation people have in harassing us?" asked the president of the Coimbatore District Sand Lorry Owners' and Traders' Association president, S. Bharathi.

The Erode Stone, Sand, Soil and Jalli Lorry Owners' Association has claimed, in a petition submitted to the Karur Collector, A. Karthik on Monday, that only at the instance of the State Lorry Owners' Federation and some of the federation constituent units in Karur, Erode and Namakkal districts that the Transport Department officials are taking penal action.