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Solan: Truckers demand freight hike pending since April 2019

Solan: Truckers demand freight hike pending since April 2019

Truckers assemble at Darlaghat in Arki to resent closure of Ambuja Cements Limited plant on Friday.



Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, December 16

The stalemate between the management of Ambuja Cements Limited (ACL) at Darlaghat and transport societies is likely to continue for more days with the latter asserting their decision to demand further increase in the freight pending since April 2019.

Members of seven of the eight transport societies engaged in transportation work convened a joint meeting at Darlaghat and decided to fight for their due. They opposed the decision of the company management to bring down the freight rate from the existing Rs 10.58 per ton per km (PTPK) to Rs 6 PTPK.

The company was recently taken over by the Adani group. The transporters engaged with ACC in Bilaspur will convene a meeting tomorrow to work out their future strategy. Both plants face closure since yesterday.

A congregation of truckers assembled outside the company and leaders addressed the gathering. It was decided that four representative of each society will participate in a meeting to be convened by Deputy Commissioner at Solan tomorrow. Company representatives will present their stand on the contentious decision of reducing the freight from Rs 10.50 per ton per km to Rs 6 per ton per km.

Jai Dev Kaundal, Naresh Kaundal, Ramkrishan Sharma and other leaders blamed the management for this adverse decision which has hit 2979 truckers and their families, besides ancillary service providers.

They reminded the management that they were not afraid of protesting for their rights and reminded them how the plant had remained shut for 47 days in 2010 on the issue of freight hike.

A demand charter seeking the due hike in freight since 2019 was given to the company management two months ago by their coordination committee. Besides demanding a hike in the freight, it had opposed the undue penalty of 5 per cent being imposed on multi-axle vehicles carrying more than 10 tonne load. The truckers insisted that the penalty was contrary to the union government directions on permissible load.

They said all pending issues like “victimization of land losers”, who were compelled to sign declaration to opt for either a job in the company or operate a truck, would also be taken up. There were about 100 such employees and 90 per cent among comprised land losers. Labourers, employees and transporters would unite under a common platform.

The transporters rejected the Shukla committee findings constituted in 2005 after high court directions. The company management had used it as a basis of lowering the freight rate. It had fixed the freight after a 47-day strike by the transporters. But since its decision was considered one-sided, it was not acceptable. The state government later fixed the freight rate at Rs 6.35 PTPK for cement and Rs 6.19 PTPK for clinker in 2010.

To meet DC today

Truckers assembled outside the company and leaders addressed the gathering. It was decided that four representatives of each society will participate in a meeting to be convened by DC at Solan on Saturday. Company representatives will present their stand on the contentious decision of reducing the freight from Rs 10.50 per tonne per km to Rs 6 per tonne per km.

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