Trucks wait for drivers
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- Published 31.01.11
Cuttack, Jan. 30: All India Confederation of Goods Vehicles Owners’ Associations (ACOGOA) today expressed concern over the acute shortage of truck drivers.
The market requires around three lakh fresh truck drivers every year, ACOGOA president B. Channa Reddy told The Telegraph. “There is no organised source for producing so many drivers. Consequently, an estimated 18 to 20 per cent trucks, at any given point of time, are forced to remain idle for want of driver,” Reddy said.
The ACOGOA president was here to attend a national seminar on “Indian road transport: challenges and opportunities”.
Reddy said that of the total number of trucks produced every year in the country, almost 50 per cent are required for replacement of existing fleet and another 30 per cent are required for fleet expansion. No less than 20 per cent vehicles are required for new entrants in the market.
“Thus it is estimated that 50 per cent of the commercial vehicles produced annually or about three lakh vehicles require fresh drivers every year,” he said.
Reddy regretted that the government has no scheme in place for training so many drivers “even if the required number magically came forward to become drivers”.
“It is inexplicable why the government does not turn to industrial trade institutes (ITIs), which have in their syllabus a course called Motor Vehicle Trade. This could easily be made into a motor mechanic-cum-driver course,” the ACOGOA president suggested.
Reddy further regretted the fact that the government has now fixed Class VIII pass as minimum qualification for grant of licence for driving commercial vehicles.
“This has made the situation all the more queer as it rendered nearly 10 per cent of the existing truck drivers ineligible,” he said.