Hyderabad: Although the demand for trailers and heavy trucks has increased to 40,000 in the GHMC area, the transport department has announced that only 4,000 vehicles can be procured by them for assisting the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi. Due to the increase in demand organisers of pandals are saying that processions carrying Ganesh idols for immersion has become costlier this time.
In the last 10 days, the transport department under the supervision of joint transport commissioner J. Pandurang Naik has procured only 3,395 vehicles of all categories from the five zones of the city, Nagole, Attapur, Uppal and Medchal office areas of Ranga Reddy district and from the Patancheru RTA office area of Sangareddy district. As only five days remain for the immersion of Ganesha, the RTA has geared up to procure vehicles.
The chairman of Ganapathi Deeksha Committee and leader of Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti, G. Hanmanth Rao, said that about one lakh idols were installed in the HMDA limits of which about 40,000 were in GHMC limits. “The 4,000 vehicles being provided by the RTA are not sufficient for the immersion and pandal organisers are approaching private individuals for trucks and trailers. Due to the high demand truckers have raised charges. But, some truckers are assisting pandal organisers,” he said.
While the RTA has fixed charges at Rs 1,000 for a Tata Ace to Rs 20,000 for a trailer, private lorry drivers and owners are demanding Rs 21,000 and more for trailers and Rs 10,000 for 10-tyre trucks.
The president of Telangana Lorry Owners and Drivers Association, M. Bhaskar Reddy, said that deploying vehicles for immersion would lead to huge losses to truck owners and drivers. “We are spending at least Rs 4,000 per day on each truck for maintenance and driver’s allowance. But, the RTA fixed charges excluding fuel and driver allowance is only Rs 500 a day against the Rs 1,000 we need. We have to deploy our vehicles early for immersion and we get charges for only a day. While the RTA and Ganesh Utsav Samithi are demanding more vehicles, no one is supporting us during minor incidents and we are facing court cases. Due to these reasons most truckers have decided not to accept the RTA's offer. But, the RTA is forcibly procuring vehicles by seizing documents,” he said