Truck operators up in arms
Use of technology to check malpractices in running the trucks which carry PDS rice to various districts has badly irked the truck operators and some of them have even asked the Civil Supplies Department (CSD) to cancel their contract.
Hyderabad: Use of technology to check malpractices in running the trucks which carry PDS rice to various districts has badly irked the truck operators and some of them have even asked the Civil Supplies Department (CSD) to cancel their contract.
It may be noted that the department had recently introduced the GPS equipment to all the trucks that transport the PDS rice. This has resulted in restricting the use of trucks for other private operations and earns some extra money by the truck owners and had resulted in steep fall in their revenue.
In addition, the truck operators have to pay nominal monthly fee towards the GPS system. In view of this, the truck operators have asked the CSD to end their contract stating that they cannot operate at the present rates being paid by the government.
Speaking to The Hans India, the contractors said that they would continue with the services only if the department agrees to increase the rate for transportation of rice per quintal by 20 to 30 percent. Since the rate varies from mandal to mandal, increasing the rate rationally would help them sustain the market.
They said prior to installation of GPS about an year ago, they were using these trucks for carrying loads of other private organisations during lean period. But now they cannot do so, said Ahmed Pasha of Kamareddy.
There are about 129 MLS across Telangana and about four to five vehicles operate from each point.
Earlier separate vehicles distributed rice to schools serving mid-day meals (MDM) to students. However, even this responsibility has been placed on Stage II contractors. The new conditions has forced the contractors to supply meager quantity of rice, which would sometimes turnout to be less than 50 kg and delivered to remote places.
“We have to transport a single bag of rice, sometimes to far-off places. The diesel prices are on rise, insurance amount has been doubled and now GST is being implemented. If this system continues, we may not participate in the next bidding, as we are facing a loss of Rs 30,000 to 35,000 every month, said Md Rasheed from Adilabad.
When they represented the issue to the senior officers of Civil Supplies Department, the officials assured the truck operators to examine the issue.