Torrential rains in north India hit goods transport from TN
50,000 trucks have suspended operations due to downturn in logistics
COIMBATORE: Unprecedented rains in northern parts of India have almost paralysed the logistics sector in Tamil Nadu as transportation of goods by trucks has come to a grinding halt.
Trucks were stranded in rain-ravaged states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Kashmir, Chandigarh, and Rajasthan, where highways were severely damaged and cut off for vehicle movement.
“As roads have become completely non-motorable, goods-laden trucks from Tamil Nadu were halted as such in those states due to inaccessibility. Also, after unloading the sent items, the trucks couldn’t get orders for transporting the usual goods from rain-hit areas. We are in touch with the stranded crew and confirmed them to be safe,” said C Dhanraj, president of State Lorry Owners Federation (SLOF).
Of the six lakh odd trucks operated in Tamil Nadu, there are 1.5 lakh vehicles with national permits.
“Among them, already 50,000 trucks have stopped operations in recent times due to the downturn in the transportation business, increasing fuel cost and other factors,” he added.
Several crore worth of goods mainly sago, ingredients for medicines, jaggery, coconut, steel, textiles, and other items have stagnated in Tamil Nadu. Similarly, the arrival of goods such as apples from Kashmir, machinery and steel from Chandigarh and Punjab, and textiles from Gujarat besides vegetables from different states has been hit. “If this situation persists then, it would affect lakhs of people dependent on the logistics sector for their livelihood. Hundreds of truckers have already gone jobless,” said truck owners.
Truckers are hoping desperately for things to get back to normalcy. “Even though the situation is gradually improving in some northern states, the truckers in Tamil Nadu have stopped taking orders as a precaution. Besides trucks meant for transportation of goods, the business of rig vehicles engaged in digging bores have also been hit due to floods in the north,” said R Vangili, president of Namakkal Taluk Lorry Owners Association.
Truck owners claimed that trouble began to brew for the logistics sector since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out as several industries were shut, causing a dent in the transportation business.
They have recently threatened to go on strike if the online filing of police cases on trucks for violations is not scrapped as it results in harassment by law enforcement agencies for bribes.