Rise in fuel prices forces 40% vehicles to go off road
Not being able to cover the operation cost of ferrying goods, transporters are forced to reduce fleet. Small fleet owners are worst hit. A sharp rise in fuel prices has hit transporters and those unable to cope with the rising cost are selling their multipurpose loading vehicles.
As per the local transport association, over 40 per cent of loading vehicles are off road due to a surge in fuel prices. A transporter from Indore, who did not wish to be named said, “I sold 2 multipurpose loading vehicles last week because I was making losses. I mostly run contract business where prices can be revised only after a year. In such a scenario, I was not even able to pay bank installment for my vehicle.”
According to transporters, the cost has risen by over Rs 15,000 per trip on an average for a vehicle ferrying goods from Indore to Mumbai.
A banker from the vehicle finance department of a private bank said, “Yes, many transfer cases for heavy vehicles have come to us. We get about two to five customer enquiries to know the procedure of transfer in a day. Most of the customers coming to us for resale are those who have difficulties in paying monthly installment.”
According to two bankers involved in heavy and medium vehicle finance, sales of new vehicles are likely to drop to around 140 by June as against an average monthly sale of 250 vehicles.
As per a rough estimate by transporters, around 20,000 transporters operate from Madhya Pradesh of which 50 per cent are from Indore.
After being unchanged for 19 days in a row due to Karnataka elections, petrol and diesel prices shot again by Rs 83 paisa to Rs 81.28 per liters and Rs 1.22 to Rs 70.71 per liters respectively.
The transporters now plan to protest against the steep hike in fuel prices. All India Motor Transport Congress coordination committee chairman Amrit Lal Madan said, “We held a meeting on Thursday wherein we had decided to go for a nationwide protest against hike in fuel prices. We will go on strike on July 20.”
Centrally located Indore city is a hub for transportation vehicles with an average movement of about 5,000 vehicles from the city every day, according to transporters.
Prantiya Transporters Welfare Association Madhya Pradesh president Vijay Karla said, “This is a very difficult phase for us and we will all together protest this rise in fuel prices.”