Ramesh Kumar

 

Ramesh Kumar, an Economics graduate from the University of Madras, spent his entire career spanning 35 years in the world of publishing: print, TV and web focused on business/economics. He has worked in India and the Persian Gulf (2005-9), helping launch print publications, TV (news & current affairs) stations and websites.

 

He began his career with Macmillan India and traversed through various publications such as Gentleman, GFQ, Technocrat, Business Computers, The Indian Post, The Independent, Free Press Journal, Mid-Day (Bombay), Observer of Business & Politics, Business India TV (TVI), Jain TV, Doordarshan etc. Between 2005 and 2009, he was associated with United Media Services, Muscat, Oman as Group Editor of Oman Economic Review, Alam Aliktisaad Walamaal, Signature, Al Mara, OER Dossier; and moved as Strategic Editorial Advisor to OmanTribune, Muscat, Oman. He also advised INSURE magazine, published from Dubai Media City, UAE.

Until recently, he was one of three key founding-editors of Logistics Times. Now he is associated with the SAARC Centre for Transport Studies, a research outfit.

Besides, he regularly contributes to Automotive Logistics Magazine and Finished Vehicle Logistics Magazine of London, UK; and Logistics Insight Asia of Singapore. 

He has written a book, 10,000 Km on Indian Highways, based on his personal experience of travelling in trucks and trailers.

Overloading of trucks is a menace which every body wants to be curbed but it’s perpetration continued to remain undented during past over a quarter of century, despite all out efforts for curbing it.

When goods road transport was a composite activity i.e. goods transport operators used to have their own fleet of trucks,overloading of vehicles was not a common feature. The transport operators, before thinking of putting excess load on the vehicles, thought of the negative consequences on the economy of operation of their truck.

In his article, Mr. Sunil Jain (Financial Express of 25th September, 2013) was fully entitled to have whatever expectations from any individual or organization, but he could as well assert these as being “rational” is a moot point. For his disillusionment with the UPA Government he has chosen to blacken it’s face with three different brushes.

The  Government show off of providing food, water and shelter to the poor citizen of the country or even helping their children get at least basic education free of cost, is truly reminiscent of the feudal lords of yore known for their RAAJA -- PRAJAA syndrome. Not strangely, the politicians have developed a vested interest in their PRAJA remaining poor and destitute. Hence none of them is keen on addressing the causes which perpetrate poverty.

The  heading of this piece may appear to be somewhat cynical. Yes ! one may wonder how roads could, in any way, be related to an ideological subject like Maoism / Naxalism. Only so long one does not go deeper to learn the basics of these isms.


The economy of the country is not in a happy shape and from adverse impact of which hardly any body is insulated. Be they farmers, be they Traders or Manufacturers and not the least transporters, all are affected adversely. Indeed worse of all is the end consumer.

At the time when we gave to ourselves the Constitution of our Republic the legally permitted operational area for a truck used to be the boundary of the district where Permit was issued under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.

Driving of commercial vehicles is a profession highly despised and drivers are looked down upon as lowly creatures.

The genesis of overloading lies in modification of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 whereby axle-load limit was made the basis for determining the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of vehicles. This deprived the States the liberty of fixing the GVW and thereby their flexibility in fixing the rate for M.V. Tax. Thus the States are hostile to the concept of GVW in vogue at present. So the States are not keen on enforcing the provisions of Section 113 of the M.V. Act, 1989. Instead the misuse of Section 200 by them for revenue gain and in bargain extortion of bribe by enforcement officials is rampant all around.

It is reported that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways were reaching out to the Cabinet for approval of their proposal of 3-4 fold increase in penalty for overloading in trucks.