Free Press Journal

Truckers willing to operate vulnerable in Goa’s mining zone


Panaji: Even as a section of truck owners are agreeing to resume the iron ore exports in Goa, the fear of getting attacked is keeping them at bay despite mounting debts to the local banks. The Goa government has already renewed leases of the mining companies allowing them for fresh extraction and exports.

Sesa Iron Ore was the first company to begin its exports till its attempt of ore transportation was scuttled last month after some of its vehicles were allegedly attacked. “We are willing to ply the trucks. It is better to earn less than being penniless. It is more than three years that we are waiting for the consignment,” said a truck owner from Sanvordem, whose truck was recently among vehicles that faced attack from rival group of truck owners.

Some of the truck owners are under shadow of fear that they will have to face the wrath of their fellow operators if they ply their vehicles. “What do we do with these trucks? The bank loan is piling up every month. If we can earn little, we would be able to pay our EMI,” said another truck owner on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, All Goa Truck Owners Association continue to stick to their decision to halt transportation till their demand for a higher price per tonnage is conceded by the company.

The association’s strike call had led to several trucks being attacked recently. Sesa Iron ore had feared that they will have to go for no work no pay, if exports don’t resume. “We as employees depend on mining for sustenance and livelihood. Our humble appeal to all those who are dependent on mining for their livelihood for three and a half years, now we request them to be a little patient till work comes their way, it is not possible for all to get work simultaneously,” Head (Corporate Communications), Sesa Iron Ore, Sangeetha Chakavarthy, said in an email interview to PTI.