DASS SPEAK:Government ensure self-esteem of Truck owners

By Chittranjan Dass, Editor, SAARC Journal of Transport
Many Holding-up Moving Loaded Trucks for Routine Checking etc. Should be Culpable Offence.
Let us scratch our heads to recall even one instance when some official of your Municipal Body confronted you with a demand notice for your outstanding House Tax? Or for that matter, some official of Income Tax Department holding you up anywhere on road or in market demanding payment of your income tax dues? NO! NEVER

But it is not true in respect to the trucks which are called the back-bone of country’s economy.

Every truck, as an automobile, has to get registered with the transport department for sake of it’s identity. Unlike personal automobiles, the trucks, as well, have to obtain a Permit, since these are engaged in commercial activity. The basic permit is for operating within the jurisdiction of home State. As the manufacturing, trade and commerce expanded and dispersed far and wide in different corners of the country, trucks emerged as the most appropriate mode for supply of raw materials to the factories and finished goods as well as farm produce to the markets.

Thus, out of necessity, a National Permit Scheme was introduced. But it served a limited purpose, hence recently this was replaced with an All India Permit System, specifically for ensuring hassle free movement of goods carriages.

Sadly it is not working as envisaged, despite condition of roads being improved all around and the OE manufacturers claiming that the vehicles being produced by them are world class.

Reason is not far to seek. A goods carriage, despite being registered (against advance payment), holding a Permit (against advance payment), performing as the basic infra-structure for nation’s economy, it is denied a respectable status.

Thus within the goods road transport sector, consisting of various segments, the goods carriage operation is most vulnerable. For this the State administrations are squarely responsible.

While framing statutes for this segment, whatever views the Centre may be holding, but the States have ONE and ONLY ONE view which seemingly is that transportation of goods by goods carriages was akin to something contraband. Hence even normal human dignity is denied to them. Instead they are being extorted facilitation charges, both by the State as extra revenue as well as gratification by Enforcement Officials, Nothing could be more flawed than this.

This, despite the goods carriages holding Certificate of Registration and an All India Permit. It is thus overdue that the business of goods carriage operation must be treated with due respect and dignity and hassle free movement of these vehicles should be considered as their fundamental right. To be precise no goods carriage must be held up while operating on highways for so-called checking of papers etc. Doing so, indeed, must be declared as a culpable offence.