Lack of truckers hits goods transportation hard

Shortage of drivers is forcing us to take up driving. There are no heavy motor vehicle training schools in Telangana

HYDERABAD: As there is no driving school for heavy vehicles to train new truckers and the existing ones are getting old, there is a severe shortage of lorry and truck drivers in the state.

More than 50 per cent of the drivers crossed the age of 50 and new drivers are not entering the field apparently due to lack of training.

During long distance trips, there is a need to have two drivers, but in the absence of the second drivers, cleaners of these vehicles, who are not eligible to drive, are said to be sitting behind the wheels, giving scope for more highway accidents.

Lack of motor driving schools for heavy vehicles is considered as the main reason for this problem. Experts in this field fear that consequences would be adverse, if the problem is not addressed at this point of time.
According to the Telangana Lorry owner’s Association, there are about 1.75 lakh lorries and trucks in the state, but licensed drivers are only 1.10 lakhs. Among these drivers, above 50 per cent have crossed the age of 50.

These vehicles which are engaged in transporting goods to long distances, supposedly should have two drivers, but due to shortage of drivers, cleaners are doing the driving job when fatigued drivers take rest in the moving vehicle.

Katam Krishna Goud, a lorry driver-cum-owner, said, “Shortage of drivers is forcing us to take up driving. There are no heavy motor vehicle training schools in the state, because of which there is no chance for new drivers to learn this skill. Though the government promised to set up driving schools for heavy vehicles, so far there has been action in this regard.”

Manchireddy Rajender Reddy, president of the association, said, “Transport sector lacks government encouragement. Majority of drivers are more than 50-years-old. The government should provide health checkups for them. At least, it should conduct eye checking camps. The authorities should take up this matter seriously. The shortage of drivers will affect transportation of essentials. If unskilled people drive the vehicles, that will lead to accidents.”

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