JK Tyre and Industries has commissioned its 30th Truck Wheel showroom at Karur. Marking the 12th tyre retread centre by JK Tyre in India, the truck wheel centre is in-line with the company’s strategy to expand its reach across the country. Strategically located at the centre of the transport hub that Karur is, the centre, is on a land parcel of 7000 sq. ft. Located 400 km to the south of Chennai, the centre, is JK Tyre’s first ever setup in the country that flaunts both, JK Wheels and JK Retread Centre. Well equipped with automatic tyre changers, best-in-class wheel aligner, pneumatic tool set, and greasing pumps, the centre is capable of addressing all the needs of the customer regarding wheels and tyres. With repair and retread infrastructure, the centre will also educate its CV customers about the benefits of retreading through JK Recommended Retread practice. The education endeavour will focus on longer tyre life and less cost per km (CPKM). Consumers will be also offered value added services like guidance from company trained professionals on tyre care and maintenance.
Tata Motors will host Season four of the T1 Prima Truck racing championship on March 19, 2017. The championship will have Prima race trucks battling it out against each other on the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida. Conducted under the aegis of Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) and Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), the T1 Prima Truck racing championship marks India’s first truck racing championship. Organised by Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC), and with safety and performance standards as per the guidelines of the British Truck Racing Association (BTRA), the season four race, according to Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors Ltd., will further enable the company to showcase our passion, commitment and leadership in the Indian commercial vehicle space by introducing new innovations and new heroes on the Indian trucking and motorsports scene. Tata Motors kicked off the preparations for the event with a motorsports driver training and selection program (T1 Racer Program) in late 2016. The company received 1000 applications from all over the country. The racing program, designed by MOMA Motorsport Management, consists of four levels of training and elimination. Level one imparts elementary race theory and track driving lessons. Level two includes a more intensive Prima-driving session. Level three involves rigorous physical and mental training sessions. Level four enables transition of a ‘road-driver’ to a Prima-racer. The season four of the T1 truck racing championship will see 10 new Indian truck drivers. To race Prima T1 trucks at Greater Noide circuit will be an opportunity of a life time. Apart from the 10 new drivers, this season will also feature Indian truck drivers from Season 3. Like in editions before, the championship will also host experienced international drivers in the form of six teams.
With an aim to improve logistics efficiency, the central government, claim industry sources, is planning to develop five-to-six logistic parks. In this regard, A.D. James, Deputy Secretary, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, is known to have said that the location of the logistics parks for the initial phase have been identified. Claim source that the parks are likely to be developed at locations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andra Pradesh and Haryana. With work on preparing a detailed project report soon expected to commence, the development of logistics parks is likely to be done through special purpose vehicles specially devised for the task. Expected to attract an investment worth Rs.32,853 crore, the parks, said to be 15 in number, will be multi-modal in nature. They, claim sources, will be situated along the corridors with the highest freight movement. Such parks, developed systematically, could increase the efficiency of the highways and create a demand for trucks by defining the hub and spoke transportation model.
The policy on vehicle scrappage is ready, and will be announced in the next few months, claim industry sources. They add that the objections and suggestions from the public have been looked into, and the final version of the policy draft has been prepared. The policy draft is expected to be tabled soon for the government to take a decision. Aimed at encouraging people to scrap their old vehicles and replace them with fuel efficient and less emitting vehicles, the policy, claim sources, will offer tax and other benefits. The policy draft is said to propose bringing under the ambit of the policy vehicles made before April 2000, the year when BSI emission standards were introduced. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), claim industry sources, wants the policy to be implemented according to the age of the vehicle since the country does not enough infrastructure to inspect the health of vehicles and certify them. Scrappage policy, they add, won’t be compulsory even though it would encourage people to scrap their old vehicles and opt for new vehicles. For scrapping of vehicles, some pilot projects have been performed by the government. These could be implemented in states with sizeable vehicle population and air quality issues.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has received a mandate to raise Rs.70,000 crore through infrastructure bonds claim industry sources. Sources add that the easy availability of low cost overseas loans for the AAA rated NHAI should make it easier for it to raise the bonds. In connection with the impetus being put on infrastructure development, including highways, road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari, is known to have said recently that contracts worth Rs.5 lakh crore for infrastructure, roads, and ports have been signed. The minister is said to have termed the signing of contracts as remarkable, and in-line with the good response received from public and private investment. Gadkari is also known to have said that his ministry is getting good response for PPP, BOT and hybrid annuity models. As many as 101 projects are ready for take off, claim industry sources. They add that the ministry is also working on a number of waterways projects for improving inland connectivity in cities like Mumbai.
For a hassle-free movement of cargo, industry sources claim that the government has decided to make electronic toll tags mandatory for all vehicles contracted by the government departments. The decision, the sources added, was taken in an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and attended by petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan. It was decided in the inter-ministerial meeting that the concerned ministries will issue administrative orders to make it mandatory for trucks contracted by the government departments like FCI, Petroleum, Mines etc., to carry FASTags. Based on Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID), FASTag are said to be simple to use. They are re-loadable tags, which enable automatic deduction of toll charges, eliminating the need to wait at toll plazas to pay the toll. Claim industry sources that this would lead to a significant amount of saving in fuel among other resources.
The Delhi High Court has asked the drivers of app.-based cab firms Ola and Uber to refrain from striking work in protest of low fares and lack of basic amenities. The court, pointing that the cab drivers and their unions have a purely contractual relationship with the companies, has asked the cab drivers to opt for a more lucrative option. The court observed that the drivers should create an atmosphere for peaceful commercial dialogue with cab aggregators. The court has said that the vehicles of agitating drivers should not be stopped or blocked from plying. They should not be damaged either.