JHARSUGUDA: Truck owners engaged in coal transportation in Brajrajnagar, Belpahar and Bandhbahal under Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) have decided to surrender their vehicles to Transport Department as a mark of protest against the Centre’s decision to cut down e-auction coal quota.
Since July, coal transportation from five open cast and three underground mines in Ib Valley coal fields has almost come to a standstill causing more than 7000 trucks in the region to sit idle. The truck owners claimed that paying road and permit taxes is not viable after the Centre’s move which has hit their business hard. The owners on Monday had met Regional Transport Officer (RTO) DK Singh in this regard. Sources said the RTO expressed helplessness about the situation as there was not enough space available with them on their premises to park the trucks.
Sources said finance companies are planning to seize more than 80 trucks in the district as the owners have defaulted on their loan EMIs.
Earlier, truck owners of Brajrajnagar and Bandhbahal had discussed the matter with Sub-Collector SR Patel, who assured to provide a viable solution soon. Brajrajnagar Truck Owners’ Association president DK Das said, “As the livelihood of thousands of truck owners is at stake, the district administration must take steps to bail them out from the crisis.” Das’ Bandhbahal counterpart Prasanna Singh said if a solution to the problem is not found soon, the association will paralyse production and dispatch of coal from mines from October 6.
Chief General Manager, Lakhanpur Area (MCL) BN Jha assured to look into the matter.