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    HomeHyderabadDrivers of hire vehicles in Telangana concerned about unpaid bills

    Drivers of hire vehicles in Telangana concerned about unpaid bills

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    The government departments in Hyderabad have not paid their bills for hiring vehicles from owner-cum-drivers for several months. The Telangana Four-Wheeler Drivers’ Association has stated that the fixed hire charges for these vehicles have not been revised in the last five years and is demanding a revision. There are over 13,000 vehicles hired by the Transport department across various departments, and drivers have been struggling to make a living due to pending bills for the past six to 25 months.

    The association has submitted a representation to the State Transport minister, principal secretary, commissioner of transport department, and the Finance minister, requesting a revision of the fixed hire charges for vehicles. They point out that it has been seven years since the last revision. The bills for Groundwater department have been pending for 12 months, Panchayat Raj Engineering for 25 months, Excise for 15 months, Roads & Buildings for 15 months, Social Welfare for 10 months, BC ST SC and Minority welfare for 12 months, Commercial Taxes for six months, Women Development & Child Welfare for nine months, and District Rural Development Agency for six months.

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    Many drivers belonging to SC, ST, BC, and minority communities have purchased vehicles with financial assistance from various institutions and have been operating them as hired vehicles in different State departments. They have been able to support their families and pay their EMIs on time. There are approximately 13,000 owner-cum-drivers working in all departments.

    The government had set a monthly rent of Rs 33,000 for 2,500 km in districts and Rs 34,000 for 2,500 km/month in Hyderabad on June 16, 2017. However, the prices of petrol, oil, and lubricants (POL) have increased by 37% to 40% from 2017 to 2023. The price of diesel has risen from Rs 58 to Rs 97.82 per litre. The cost of living has also increased by more than 25% during the same period. The association is urging the government to increase the fixed hire charges to Rs 66,000 for districts and Rs 68,000 for Hyderabad.

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    Due to the low fixed amount, drivers have been unable to make regular payments to the banks, mostly SBI, Secunderabad Patny, from which they have secured their vehicles under the scheme. As a result, the bank authorities have seized their vehicles.

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