Truckers increase freight, industry feels the pinch

Truckers increase freight, industry feels the pinch

Trucks carrying goods queue up on the Kalka-Shimla highway. Tribune photo

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, July 6

Increase in industrial freight owing to hike in diesel price has unnerved the investors in various industrial clusters of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN), Paonta Sahib and Kala Amb.

Freight was hiked by Rs 2.50 per km in Paonta Sahib about three weeks ago. The spiraling diesel prices have again led to an increase of about 8 per cent in the freight, informed Satish Goel, president, Himachal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paonta Sahib.

“The goods manufactured here have become uncompetitive as there was no end to diesel hike. As per the agreement between the truck unions and the industry, an increase of Rs 2 per km has again been affected in freight from today,” rued Goel.

As against Rs 14,800 charged by a truck bound for Delhi earlier, its freight increased to Rs 15,500 on June 20 and to Rs 16,050 from today, he informed.

Echoing similar sentiments, Sanjay Khurana, president BBN Industries Association, said, “The increasing diesel price has unnerved the industry which was struggling to survive in the Covid pandemic as freight registers a subsequent hike each time diesel price increases”.

The Nalagarh Truck Operators union has also effected an increase of Rs 2.50 since June 26.

In Darlaghat area freight had enhanced from Rs 9.17 per ton per km to Rs 9.41 per ton per km for the cement industry and according to an estimate a truck bound for Punjab registered an increase of about Rs 60 per ton per km.

High freight in the industrial clusters has always been a contentious issue for the successive state governments. In August last year, Asia’s biggest transport union, Nalagarh Truck Operators Union (NTOU) had slashed the freight between 2 and 12 per cent for distances located within 150-km from Baddi and any new depot established within 250-km on the state government’s intervention. The move was aimed luring investors.

Vidya Rattan, president, NTOU, however, said it had become difficult to continue with the discount in freight as work has reduced by 20 to 30 per cent. With loan liabilities and other recurring expenditure, the recent hike in freight allowed them to cover only one-sided expenses and he demanded that the state government should intervene to do away with this discount in these difficult times.


The new rates

  • As against Rs14,800 charged by a truck bound for Delhi earlier, its freight increased to Rs15,500 on June 20 and to Rs16,050 from Monday
  • The Nalagarh Truck Operators Union has also effected an increase of Rs2.50 since June 26
  • In Darlaghat area, freight has increased from Rs9.17 per tonne per km to Rs9.41 per tonne per km for cement industry
  • According to an estimate, a truck bound for Punjab registered an increase of about Rs

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