Every year in the monsoons, heavy rainfall leads to floods. This year, states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Kerala were jolted by the season forcing over 1.2 million people to leave their homes and find shelter in government-run relief camps. Monsoon affects the environment and impacts the quality of life. The transportation system comes to a halt, and the infrastructure impacted greatly.
Necessities for food and travel – warehouses, farms and roads remain out of access. It takes ample effort to get back to normalcy after the floods. Even normalcy is challenging without the help of the transportation system, as flood relief material needs to be transported. Unfortunately, the trucks are the most affected in these areas during floods as they get stranded on the highways and have to wait for the roads to get cleared.
The life of truckers isn’t as easy as a white-collar job. Being on the road 24×7 has many cons, but a flood worsens the condition of the trucker, creating more problems for them.
Safety is a significant concern for truckers because the floodwater can damage or destroy their vehicle. The trucks are their only source of livelihood. Water clogging can spoil the engines, and the force of the water can topple the vehicle and drag it along with the flow. Not only the vehicle but the trucker’s life is also at stake if they get stuck in the floods.
In these conditions, harmful diseases, infections, and even death of the trucker are possible.
When floods obstruct roads, bridges, and pathways, highways are closed until water clogging is reduced. Till then, the trucker has no choice but to wait at the nearest halting location. The overly occupied rest stations, broker offices and lodging, make it difficult for the truckers to stay. The time wasted waiting for the situation to improve impacts the earnings of the trucker as either the delivery gets delayed or he has to wait endlessly for the next load. Sometimes, truckers drive back to the warehouse to return the load to avoid the destruction of commodities in the rain.
With no clear information about the road ahead, the truckers wait at the roadside dhabhas or the nearest resting place for days together. Sometimes, they either take a detour or halt at multiple locations even stranded in the rain for long hours without food or money. The road conditions are unpredictable after the monsoon. This extra halting time with multiple overnights stays decrease his earnings, increase the expenses and costs the trucker his livelihood.
Slow Factory Loading
When information of flood spreads like wildfire, the factories stop loading the trucks as a precautionary measure. The try to safeguard the commodities, the current fleet of trucks, and even the truckers. They inform even the vehicles onward on a journey to get to a safe harbour. Though this safeguards the trucker, he has no earnings until the floods are under control. Not only does this impact the life of the truckers but also affects the economy as transportation lines get suspended. Being stranded on the highway or in the flooded area indefinitely is a significant threat that the trucker faces, especially during floods. The trucker’s life turns into a living hell as the impact is both financially and physically, and he only hopes to return home safely.