The scrapping of currency notes is expected to hit the supply of essential items since transporters have no money to pay drivers and helpers or meeting their daily expenses of taxes, state toll and fuel.
Truck operators in Delhi-NCR claimed that 50% of their 4.5 lakh trucks have come to a standstill.
This will affect traders in the region as a large number of trucks have not brought in supplies for the past five days.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) claims that about two lakh trucks have not reached the Delhi-NCR with supplies. “Trucks that were supposed to enter Delhi four days ago have not reached as yet. Limit on cash withdrawal is miniscule and has paralysed transport business. Supply of essential supplies like milk, vegetables, fruits, medicines to Delhi-NCR will get affected,” Bhim Wadhwa, president of AIMTC told HT on Tuesday.
He said 80% of transport operations run on cash transactions.
Car carrier trailers in Gurgaon are the worst hit as the drivers have to travel throughout the country. A driver travelling to Chennai needs Rs 25,000 cash and Rs 15,000 for a Mumbai trip, said Vipul Nanda, president of the Car Carriers Association, Gurgaon.
“Fuel is being sold for old currency notes but what about payments for interstate taxes, food, state tolls, and other daily expenses. Drivers are demanding cash or refusing to ply. We hope the situation normalises soon,” said Nanda. More than 12,000 car carriers are registered in the country of which 80% are registered in Haryana as majority of car manufacturers are located in the state.
Shyam Tyagi, a driver transporting vehicles for Maruti, said, standing in long queues outside a bank or ATM for cash meant wasting at least eight hours.
Vikas Juneja, chairman of Varuna Integrated Logistics in Gurgaon, said there is need to relax limit on withdrawal of cash or else the situation would worsen in the coming days.
Transport agencies in Noida claimed that operations of nearly 80% of their goods carrier vehicles are suspended. “Now, we cannot withdraw Rs 15,000 or Rs 20,000 per day to run even a single vehicle. Sudden cash crunch is a major hurdle,” said Ved Pal Singh, president of Noida Transporters Sanyukt Morcha.
Currency cycle is affected as retailers are not getting payments from markets. “Flow of currency has stopped as dealers are not getting money from the market. As a result, the transporters are not being paid. We are worried about paying instalments for vehicles, godown rents, and salaries to the staff,” said Hukam Singh, president of All Haryana Goods Transporters’ Association.
(With inputs by Sweta Goswami in Delhi, and Dhananjay Jha in Noida)