For seven days, five of the seven trucks owned by Ved Pal have been parked in Noida. Pal says that he does not have enough cash to run all of them.
“We usually transport auto parts, fabric and such goods from Noida, Ghaziabad to Gurgaon and Manesar. While the toll tax can be given in old notes, we also need to pay tax implemented by the NGT every time a truck enters Delhi. This amounts to Rs 1,400 one way. Most of us live a hand-to-mouth kind of life. We do not have cash to ply all seven trucks,” Pal said.
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Owing to the demonetisation, transport operations in the country — 80 per cent of which are done in cash — have been affected, All India Motor Transport Congress said in an official statement.
Adeep Bindra of the All India Transport Association lauded the move but expressed reservations about the manner in which it was implemented. “The government should have increased the circulation of Rs 100 notes beforehand. They could have kept the scheme as a surprise so those with black money get trapped. We are facing problems in running our business. Our drivers will have to stand in queues and withdraw their salary. Moreover, not every place has card machines,” Bindra said.
In Noida Sector 2, next to the fire-station, at least 50 trucks, mostly with Punjab registration, remain stationary on Tuesday evening. Hari Singh Rawat, who owns around 35 trucks which ply in Delhi-Punjab-Himachal Pradesh-Jammu region, maintains that his vehicles have not been getting enough work since the demonetisation move. “We do not have black money but the cash crunch has had a bad effect on our business. At least 30 of my trucks are parked here because we are not getting any work from industries. Moreover, drivers are not willing to accept old notes. Each driver gets a salary of around Rs 7,000-9,000 and then additional money for fuel and food. Roadside eateries only accept cash. A meal might be for Rs 150-200 but even that kind of cash is not available,” Rawat said.
For Kaushal Aggarwal from Noida Bus Association, the scheme has not affected running of intra-city buses. However, buses going to other states ferrying tourists have seen an 80 per cent dip in business. “Buses going to Shimla, Manali and other such places are not running properly. Tourists have no cash and people prefer to be at home and meet daily expenses instead of going for a holiday,” Aggarwal said.