20K families of Jharsuguda truck owners at their wit’s end
More than 20,000 families of truck owners were pushed to the margins as Corona shut down.
The Covid 19 turned out to be an injury insult when truck owners could hardly make ends meet after local industries decided to rely on rail rather than road transport for transporting coal. Many families of truck owners in Brajrajnagar, Belpahar and Bandhbahal in Jharsuguda district are under enormous financial pressure with no help in sight.
Previously, power stations, steel mills, aluminum and spongy iron factories transported coal by trucks, trawlers and multi-axle trailers. But over the past two years, local industries have shifted a significant volume to the railways, which has dried up the trucking industry.
Due to the efforts of the district administration and pressure from the association of truck owners and the local public, private industries had restored some of these activities to truck owners. However, due to reduced production at mines during the Covid crisis, many drivers have stayed at home for most of the past year. The EU government’s moratorium on IMEs has given truck owners marginal relief.
However, before the situation returned to normal, the second wave of Covid cases shattered all hopes of an economic recovery for these families.
Looming uncertainty has also forced drivers in other states to return to their hometowns, as thousands of trucks are on the roads.
With the owners of these trucks unable to pay their installments on time, truck finance companies and their collectors knock on the doors of these families every day. Susant Moharana, a truck owner from Khaiguda, said: “Families of truck owners are struggling to provide two meals for their families.
The drivers are unwilling to drive vehicles in the middle of the ring and our trucks are gathering dust. Tapankanta Jena, another truck owner from Gumadera in Belpahar, said: “Several unemployed young people in the district bought trucks on loans in an unorganized market.
They hoped to find a livelihood through the flourishing industrialization of the district. But corona spelled the fate of all these families. Today, they have neither trucks nor means of subsistence. “