KARACHI: Customs Bonded Carriers Association (CBCA) and Transporters of Goods Association (TGA) have joined the strike on Tuesday suspending cargo movement across the country as the transporters protest against hefty fines and restrictions on axle load.
Ghulam Muhammad Afridi General Secretary of Goods Carrier Association said the TGA and Customs Bonded Carriers had joined the strike and internal transportation of goods at ports i.e. movement of cargo from ships to terminals had also stopped.
Transporters said that they decided to halt the cargo supply on Monday as a last resort after their several appeals had failed to convince the authorities to take action on their concerns.
“We are pressing for the solution of three main issues including unfair restrictions in axle load, hefty fines by the motorway police, and non-acceptance of provincial licenses by the motorway police,” Afridi said.
He said that a 22-wheeler vehicle was allowed to carry 58.5 tons as per low, however the new axle load regime had restricted this limit to 32 tons for being triple-axle vehicle. “On the other hand industry wants us to carry 100 tons on a 22-wheeler to save their costs,” Afridi said.
The federal government had recently approved revised rates of fines against traffic violations on highways. The penalty, which was Rs750 on every kind of violation, is now being categorised. For speeding, the fine would be Rs1,500 for motorbikes, Rs2,500 for cars, Rs5,000 for trucks, and Rs10,000 for public service vehicles.
On the other hand, the Motorway Police is of the view that higher penalties on traffic violations were resulting in safer roads and lesser violations by the heavy traffic which most of the time caused fatal accidents.
An official said the main issue was that the drivers of these trucks/trailers had made fake licenses and the transporters were not willing to get proper and legitimate driving lcenses.
“Motorway Police only accepts motorway license and there is only one motorway licensing office, in Sheikhupura. There are over 600,000 drivers, which cannot be accommodated by just one office,” Afridi said.