CHANDIGARH: As many as 93,000 trucks will go off road tomorrow in Punjab with transporters deciding to hold a 'chakka jam' protest against the state government's move regarding disbanding truck unions in the state.
"There will be a chakka jam tomorrow as 93,000 trucks who are our members will not ply in the state," All Punjab Truck Operator's Union, President, Happy Sandhu said today.
We will not transport goods or foodgrain tomorrow, he said. Truck operators are protesting against a recent decision of the Punjab cabinet.
The state cabinet had approved the Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelisation Rules), 2017, which bar goods carriage operators from forming cartels or unions in the state.
Because of the abolition of truck unions, small truck operators will suffer the most as the big companies will take over the trucking business operations, asserted Sandhu.
Moreover, freight charges will also go up considerably following the disbanding of truck unions, he claimed.
There are at present 134 truck unions comprising 93,000 trucks in the state, he said adding 70 per cent of the truck operators were engaged in the transportation of foodgrains.
He blamed the Congress government of snatching the right of employment from truck owners. "At least 4 lakh people are directly and indirectly involved in trucking business and they will be hit hard," he claimed.
He trashed the claims that truck unions were hampering the flow of industrial investment in Punjab. "There are several areas like Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Batala where truck unions do not exist. But then why did several units close down in these areas, he asked.
He acknowledged that at a "few" places, businessmen faced problems related to truck operators. Sandhu suggested that the government fix minimum and maximum transportation charges instead of abolishing truck unions.