KOIDA (SUNDARGARH): In mineral-rich Sundargarh district, overloaded transport vehicles, a major culprit behind road fatalities, are easily escaping scanner of the enforcement agencies after the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act came into force.
While smaller vehicles bear the brunt of intense crackdown by police and transport regulatory authorities for violating rules in Rourkela city, the heavy ones in spite of breaking multiple guidelines including overloading are yet to face the music.
In a crackdown on illegal parking of heavy vehicles in the accident-prone Vedvyas area on September 6, a joint team of traffic police and transport regulatory authorities apprehended 13 trucks and collected a fine of `2.33 lakh. But it was a sporadic drive against parking violation only without taking into the account the overloading factor.
Rourkela Goods Transporters’ Association (RTGA) president RK Yadav said the overloading issue has serious socio-economic repercussion. Overloaded heavy vehicles are guilty on multiple counts as these damage roads and consume extra fuel resulting in pollution. In most cases, these vehicles over speed to avoid getting caught which often results in fatal mishaps.
Yadav informed that around 500 heavy vehicles (the number doubles during peak period) exit Rourkela carrying ingots, billets, cement, roads and other industrial products on a daily basis. Similarly, 500-600 trucks from various States enter Rourkela loaded with mostly food grains, fruits, vegetables, edible oils and sugar every day. About 20 per cent of these vehicles are overloaded but never get caught for reasons best known to enforcement authorities, he alleged.
Rajesh Chaturvedi, an industrial employee, said transport regulatory authorities want total compliance from two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws and slap hefty penalties. But errant heavy vehicles despite violating norms are given an easy passage, he rued.
Junior Motor Vehicle Inspector Parsuram Sahu blamed shortage of manpower and resources for lack of enforcement outside Rourkela city to nab errant heavy vehicles. Enforcement on NH-143 and 520, as well as Biju Expressway, would be done subsequently, he added.