Only 6,400 truckers registered

Despite tall claims that between 20,000 to 25,000 truckers have been affected due to suspension of mining operations, figures of truckers who have actually registered with the government for a compensation package is just 6,400, much lower than the original estimates, raising strong suspicions that majority of the trucks were being illegally run by politicians, government servants, policemen, and others who do not wish to be identified.

According to data available with Herald, the exact figure, though not officially announced is, 6407 trucks with Bicholim taluka having the highest number of 1807 trucks registered.  Mormugao has the least amount of trucks with just 16 truck owners coming forward to register. Interestingly, truck owners are not restricted to mining talukas alone but are spread across all talukas.

The truck owners association was quick to quote figures ranging from 20,000 trucks being registered in Goa, and that all truck owners would face a bleak future and would be forced to take the extreme step of ending their lives if mining was not restarted soon.

According to a source from the Association, many of the truckers, like government servants, policemen, and others who do not want it to be public knowledge that they own trucks, possibly, illegitimately in the mining business would not come forward and register.

If this is true, it would mean that truck owners association quoted figures ranging from 20, three-fourths of the trucks involved in the mining business are doing so illegally.

Sanquelim MLA Pramod Sawant and Sanguem MLA Subhash Phaldessai, himself a transport contractor, have been helping out the associations to gather data from their registered truckers. [H]