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Posted at: Nov 10, 2016, 1:06 AM; last updated: Nov 10, 2016, 1:06 AM (IST)

Ban puts a brake on truck movements

Tribune News Service

Solan, November 9

With the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, transportation work in the state’s industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) was badly hit.

Housing Asia’s largest truck union having more than 10,000 registered vehicles, transporters said they were unable to send any cargo from the BBN area as neither the investors nor the drivers had ample cash with them. Demanding some relaxation for the transport sector, Vidya Rattan, president, Nalagarh Truck Operators’ Union, said they should be treated on a par with emergency services and granted some relief at the earliest. He said on an average about 2,500 trucks from the BBN headed to various destinations across the nation and it came to a halt today. Drivers who travelled to as far as Chennai carried Rs 65,000 with them for fuel, food, toll and meeting other exigencies and they usually carried Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

“Since these notes were de-monetised today drivers in Indore, Kolkata, etc., were facing problems in even eating food as these notes were not being accepted at dhabas.” He said even the limit of exchanging Rs 4,000 per day would fail to yield much relief as drivers had to carry Rs 50,000 to Rs 65,000 while travelling to distant places. He said transportation work would suffer till the situation became normal.

Insurance companies were trying to capitalise on this situation by offering backdated policies to all and sundry. Mohan Singh, a marketing executive in Solan, said he received a call from an insurance agent from Reliance who offered him a backdated policy. Jeweller shops in Solan, Baddi and Nalagarh wore a deserted look as few turned up to purchase jewellery as Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were no longer being accepted there. Sunil Kumar, who works in a local jewellery shop, said there were hardly any customers despite the wedding season and sales had taken a sharp dip though the gold price had hit an all-time high.

With the marriage season under way, shoppers failed to buy any clothing, jewellery or other such items as no shop accepted the two denomination notes. People in the real estate sector, which was already reeling under recession, said this transformation would adversely hit about 40 per cent of their sales. They said no sale inquiries had been received by them.

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