Sand lorries owners threaten to strike from November 28

Sand lorries owners threaten to strike from November 28
Highlights

Sand lorry owners in Krishna and Guntur districts have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from November 28. This is a major setback for the government’s ambitious plan to streamline sand quarrying, Lorry owners have alleged that sand mafia is eating into their livelihood.

Sand lorry owners in Krishna and Guntur districts have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from November 28. This is a major setback for the government’s ambitious plan to streamline sand quarrying, Lorry owners have alleged that sand mafia is eating into their livelihood.

“There has been no business ever since the government introduced booking through MeeSeva centres. Sand mafia and MeeSeva centres are hand-in-glove and booking all slots,” said Vijayawada Sand Lorry Owners Welfare Association president S Srinivasa Rao.

Sand lorry owners on strike (file photo)

He said the government collected transportation fee in advance from consumers, besides holding payments for more than a fortnight.

“As a result, lorry owners are not able to make long-term investments. The government has been requested to allow lorry owners to collect transportation fee directly from consumers and revise transportation charges,” he added.

“The government pays Rs 800 per 10 km and Rs 65 per cubic metre of sand. These are not remunerative if diesel and labour costs are to be considered,” said Kolla Tirupathaiah, president, Guntur Lorry Owners Association.

“There are more than 1,000 sand lorries in Vijayawada and Guntur districts. All these lorries will go off the road from November 28 if the government did not respond,” he added.

The construction industry sees a ray of hope with the reopening of sand reaches in the State. But, it is likely to be at the receiving end if the lorry owners go ahead with their strike plan. The city requires 200 to 300 lorries of sand everyday.

“The builders have taken up 200 to 300 projects in the city and its outskirts. Non-availability of sand had pushed the industry into doldrums in the recent past,” realtors said.

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