Govt servants own majority mining trucks

After heat and dust was raised that nearly 20,000 to 25,000 truckers would be on the streets due to suspension of mining operations in Goa, the State government appointed committee to look into the aftermath of the crisis has admitted that majority of the trucks are owned by government servants and others, which is the reason why they abstained from registering with the Directorate of Mines and Geology, for compensation.

BJP MLA and committee secretary Pramod Sawant told HERALD that there are some trucks and truck owners, illegitimately in the mining business and hence have not come forward and registered.

The committee headed by Industries Minister Mahadev Naik, which is scheduled to meet next week, has been appointed to look into the issues of truck owners and to decide on providing a financial package to this dependent community. A total of only 7000 trucks are registered with government to seek financial relief.

“The relief would be provided to only those truckers which are registered with government,” Sawant said.

Sanquelim MLA Sawant said that there are several trucks which are owned by mining companies and their loans are been taken care by firms with which they are employed.

“There are some people who own five, ten and even 20 trucks, which are illegal and with a fear that their illegalities would get exposed, they have not registered themselves,” he said.

The truck owners association has also admitted that majority of trucks are owned by politicians, police and government servants.

All Goa Truck Owners Association (AGTOA) president Nilkhant Gawas said officers holding higher position in the government sector own several hundred trucks. “These officers have made enough money and they don’t require any financial help. There are genuine truck owners who have registered themselves with a hope that government will bail them out from the crisis,” he said.

Truckers have around Rs 400 crore liabilities in way of bank loans. The truckers along with barge owners through Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) have already petitioned Reserve Bank of India (RBI) demanding restructuring of loan. [H]