Shillong, Sept 1: The joint action committee of truckers, suppliers, exporters, traders and transporters’ association has urged Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to immediately shut down all illegal weighbridges along NH 6 and NH 40E.
In a letter to the chief minister, the committee said the weighbridges which are set up at several locations on NH 6 and NH 40E are a real pain in their journey.
Recently, Shillong MP Vincent Pala had raised the issue in Parliament and the Centre acknowledged the illegalities though the state government was not ready to accept it.
“Every time we had to pass through these weighbridges we were forced to shed a huge sum of money which is otherwise meant for our survival during the course of our work. At times we had to stay hungry for a few days as we used to run out of money because of these weighbridges”, the committee said.
According to the truckers, all the weighbridges are declared illegal by the Centre and the union government is totally against the existence of such illegal weighbridges on the NH 6 and NH 40E.
The national highways are properties of the Centre and it is governed by a separate act known as National Highways Act which is under the Centre.
The provisions of overloading and its prevention including penalties are clearly mentioned in the Act especially on the toll highway.
There is nowhere in the Act that empowers the officers of the transport department in state to meddle with the national highway, it said adding that any structure built along the highways without the approval of the competent authority, which is the union ministry of surface road transport and highways, will deemed to be illegal and not permissible in law.
The Act which the state made under the MV Act to cover up these illegal weighbridges is not valid as the highways are covered by the National Highway Act and the power to enforce the Act is with the Centre and not with the state, it said.
“We therefore request your kindness not to force us to be part of these illegalities by asking us to pay to these illegal weighbridges as this totally goes against the law and the spirit of the Indian Constitution. Let us say no to any illegality and build our nation as responsible citizens”, the committee said.