Rampant violation of rules by overloaded goods vehicles in Delhi
June, 26th 2012
In a report compiled by the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), gross indiscipline amongst goods transport operators has been reported with rampant overloading of goods carriages and VAT/tax evasions by these operators. The report, submitted to Delhi Government, has drawn attention to the defiance of rule 85 of the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993. Overloading is a common problem in Delhi, whose check is kept by transport department.
"As per a Delhi Transport Notification, the department has not allowed the traffic police to issue challans for overloading. The transport department has retained authority to conduct the checks and traffic police can only compound offences or issue court challans under the state notification. Vehicles can be booked under dangerous driving under section 185 where a court challan is issued but overloading is not an offence," said a source.
Meanwhile, traffic police has asked to be given the authority to prosecute overloading. "In the Road Safety Council, it was suggested that traffic police should have concurrent power to prosecute such vehicles for enforcement under Motor Vehicle Act and the state should seriously consider it to be made a cognizable offence. Overloading is dangerous as it causes accidents as well as damage to public property," said joint commissioner of police (traffic) Satyendra Garg.
Currently, there are very little action taken on over loading by the transport department. "We have only 58 teams with 360 people in the enforcement department to check these vehicles. They are on shifts through the day and border posts don't have adequate weighing apparatus to check each vehicle. We concentrate on other offences so there are few prosecutions for over loading," admitted a senior transport official under the condition of anonymity.
In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, over loading is already being prosecuted under the Damage to Public Property Act where the transporter, consigner and the consignee are all booked for the offence. Rs 2000 is fined per extra ton.
As per the report compiled by IFTRT, where a survey of 3000 goods carriage owners conducted at 20 key trade and transport centres in Delhi for four weeks, a shocking 90% of the goods carriage/truck drivers were found not carrying any log book as prescribed under rule 84 of the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules and not only were the owners and drivers found to be ignorant of the rule, none of them appeared to have been challaned by the enforcement agency.
"Invariably, the vehicle drivers were found to be carrying incomplete/insufficient vehicle as well as goods ownership documents. In many cases, the TIN number stated on the road challans appear to be fake and the details about the weight and nature of goods carried by the vehicle owners happened to be in vast deference to the actual weight of the goods loaded on the vehicles," stated the report.
The IFTRT has recommended that there should be regular checking of goods carriages about the weight carried by them through over 250 weigh bridges set up in all the trade/industrial/transport centres in the city. And impound the vehicles by putting up maximum penalties and permitting the further journey of overloaded goods carriage after it has offloaded the excess goods from the transport vehicles. The agency has recommended that the VAT and Trade Tax Authorities to check large scale tax evasion and the Delhi Government should enforce Prevention of Damage to Public property Act 1984. Even goods loading agents should be punished under section 4 (8) of the carriage by road act 2007 and a high powered vigilance panel should be set up to keep a tab on the working of enforcement agencies in transport and traffic departments of Delhi.