About 4.5 lakh lorries in Tamil Nadu would be off roads indefinitely from December 27 to protest against what is seen as overpriced accessories like GPS system and speed governors. After the verdict of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court to install speed regulators and reflective tapes on vehicles, the state government has been forcing lorry owners to buy the accessories from particular companies which were overcharging, said MR Kumarasamy of Lorry Owners Federation of Tamil Nadu.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with lorry owners of various districts on Wednesday. Alleging that the government was forcing the lorry owners to buy the speed governors sold at Rs 1,500 in neighbouring Karnataka but priced at Rs 8,000 in Tamil Nadu, he said.
Besides, he said, the owners were being forced to buy GPS units and reflective stickers from particular companies, leading to incurring loss of crores of rupees to the owners. There are 49 approved companies who market these units and stickers at a lesser price than those companies recommended by the government, he said.
Other problems include the capacity of load to be carried by the lorries, penalising the vehicles parked at petrol pumps and corruption at transport checkposts, he said. In the wake of these issues, the lorry owners have decided to keep their vehicles off the road till the demands are met, he added .