By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 15: Will those at the helm of affairs in the District Transport Office (DTO) ever imagine the weight of hundreds of overloaded trucks places a strain on the road and the drivers, besides the huge revenue dodging? Despite a public notice issued by State Transport Commissioner J Balaji this month, overloaded trucks continue to ply in and around Guwahati.
Overloaded goods-laden trucks plying on the roads has many ramifications - this practice is notorious for revenue dodging, accidents occur frequently in which the poor drivers do not get insurance cover, the excessive pressure on the road is also notorious for the durability of roads, and the like. Maybe, taking all these ramification into consideration the Supreme Court of India on November 9, 2005 delivered its verdict in writ petition 136/2003 that no goods-laden truck should carry loads more than its capacity. According to the Supreme Court guidelines, if a goods-laden trucks is found to carry loads more than its capacity, it has to cough up fines at the rate of Rs 1,000 per excess tonne of goods carried.
In his notification, Balaji did ask all owners of trucks, producing companies, transport agencies and industries not to carry overload and follow the guidelines of the apex court in carrying goods. However, despite the notice, overloaded trucks continue to ply in and around Guwahati.
The Youth Truck Development (YTD), an organization of truck owners, said the practice of carrying overload is very much common in Guwahati under the very nose of the Kamrup DTO. This, according to YTD president Ashok th, is possible because those at the helm of affairs in the DTO look the other way as they have an unholy understanding with the truckers. Around 500 trucks, according to him, carry overload.
According to th, goods-carrying trucks are six-wheelers that has the limit to carry not more than nine tonnes, ten-wheelers with the carrying capacity of 15 tonnes and wheelers with the carrying capacity of 20 tonnes. However, th said, here in Assam some six-wheelers trucks are seen carrying 25 tonnes against the capacity of nine tonnes, ten-wheelers are seen to carry 35 tonnes against the capacity of 15 tonnes and wheelers are seen to carry 40 tonnes against the capacity of 20 tonnes.
th further said that trucks carrying cement from cement companies near Guwahati like Star Cement, Topchem, Dalmiya, Magic, Surya Gold, Amrit, JK etc., are very often found to be overloaded. The send cement to places like Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, galand etc. He alleged the since truckers carrying excess load have an understanding with those at the helm of affairs in the DTO, they rob the State exchequer of huge revenue. "We, therefore, demand of the truckers and the authorities to follow the Supreme Court guidelines on the load of goods-laden vehicles," th said.