Delivery of motorcycles and cars may get severely affected in the coming days as truckers connected with the automobile sector have parked their vehicles starting Tuesday morning.
These trucks are mainly used to transport cars and two-wheelers in the industrial belt of Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal, which houses factories of auto majors such as Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycles and Suzuki, beside numerous other ancillary suppliers.
Transport department commissioner Ashok Khemka last month issued a notification stating that rules governing the size of these vehicles should be enforced and that trucks exceeding the allowed dimensions should not be allowed to operate on Haryana's roads. Talks between the transporters’ associations with Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and chief of Haryana BJP affairs chief Anil Jain also failed to break the ice.
“The transporters were given enough time, but they did not comply. Now, it is time for action to streamline the system,” said Khemka. Relaxation granted by his predecessor on March 2013 was illegal, he added.
According to truckers’ associations, about 40,000 long-body trucks would get affected and it was not possible to alter all of them in such a short time. They have demanded two years moratorium.
As a result, despatch of two- wheelers fell to half the daily average at Hero MotoCorp’s twin factories at Gurgaon and Manesar. Some of the manufacturers have indicated to slow down the production process if the strike continued.
Daman Dewan, general secretary, Auto Mobile Carrier Welfare Association, said that if the changes were made to the size of the trucks these would get reduced to almost half of the vehicle-carrying capacity. “The Haryana government launched an offensive on Tuesday and started challaning our vehicles. We also have decided to launch agitation from Wednesday, and park our vehicles at the government office,” he said.
“Loading of motorcycles did not take place at our Manesar plant following the strike. We would be forced to slow down the production if the strike lasts longer as we have limited parking facility at our premises,” Harbhajan Singh, vice-president, general and corporate affairs, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India told HT.
A Hero MotoCorp statement said, “We could despatch only half of our average daily despatches from the Gurgaon and Dharuhera plants. We are trying to make alternative arrangements to minimise further impact.”
(An earlier version of this article stated that Ashok Khemka had issued new rules governing the size of trucks. This was incorrect and the article has been corrected to reflect the fact he had in fact sought the enforcement of existing rules.)