Cement News

After closure of cement plant, transporters in dire straits : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, December 28

Left with no work since the last fortnight, transporters of the ACC plant at Gagal in Barmana are struggling to give their loan instalments.

“Several multi-axle trucks had been purchased by the Bilaspur Transport Development Society (BTDS) a few months ago as per a memorandum of understanding with the cement company to phase out old trucks. Each truck costs about Rs 50 lakh and a trucker has to pay a monthly instalment of about Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000,” said Rakesh Thakur, president, BTDS.

He said abrupt closure of the ACC plant at Gagal had left them without work and they were unable to pay bank instalments. Each trucker was left to fend for himself. As against the lower freight of Rs 6 per tonne per km (PTPK), decided by the Adani Cement management, the BTDS was paid Rs 11.41 PTPK with the last freight revision pending since April.

Old trucks not only cause more air pollution but plying multi-axle trucks is more feasible as they can carry 25 tonnes of load as against 12 tonnes carried by the former. Old trucks were therefore being replaced by multi-axle trucks in the plant for the past few years.

The BTDS has 2,336 trucks while about 1,600 plied under the ex-servicemen transport society in the ACC plant.

As many as 101 multi-axle trucks were bought by the transporters in 2011, while the maximum have been added after 2019. There were about 554 such trucks now. “Transporters who bought the trucks in 2019 are also facing the loan liability as they are yet to clear their loan,” said Thakur.

The transporters blamed the Adani Cement management for having closed the company without any notice. This had rendered hundreds of people who were dependent on the plant directly and indirectly without work.

Transporters also argued that they were providing a discount of 40 per cent for transporting raw material from other states such as Punjab as back load and the company could not claim that they were incurring losses.

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