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July 18, 2019

Overloaded vehicles not to ply on highways, motorways


July 18, 2019

KARACHI: Over-loaded vehicles will not be allowed to ply on motorways and highways, as the Ministry of Communication has notified implementation of the new Axle Load Regime under provisions of National Highway Safety Ordinance 2000 (NHSO-2000).

To carry-out strict enforcement on motorways and highways, National Highway and Motorway Police has planned to depute its staff at each weigh station. They would take support and assistance of other law enforcement agencies as well.

According to directives, dated July 15, to Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority, Pakistan International Bulk Terminal and associations of transporters and fleet operators; Ministry of Commerce referred to the judgment of Islamabad High Court dated July 5, 2019, and directed to implement the new regime and submit monthly progress report.

The ministry suggested ensuring proper loading of vehicles as per NHSO-2000. It ordered that only those vehicles be allowed to ply on motorways and highways which observed the law regarding axle load and that were loaded under the prescribed actual load limit.

The ministry noted overloading of goods could be prevented and national assets could be saved from further damages. Ministry also advised the port/terminal authorities to keep strict monitoring to ensure implementation of actual axle load regime as per NHSO-2000.

Billions of rupees are spent on construction and maintenance of motorways and national highways. Overloaded vehicles not only lead to loss of lives in accidents but they also badly damage the road network.

Implementation of axle load control would greatly help solve maintenance issues of motorways and highways besides reducing maintenance expenditure of the vehicles as well.

It may be mentioned here that various trade bodies, transporters associations and ships agents have opposed implementation of the new axle load regime saying it would do more damage than good under the current situation and result in around 60 percent increase in the transportation costs.

The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in a statement issued after meeting with secretary communication earlier noted all stakeholders rejected the axle load regime in which the consignment weight on trucks had been drastically reduced as it would surely raise the cost of doing business.

KCCI statement elaborated that the decision to reduce axle load meant a business would now have to transit consignments in two trucks instead of one truck which was technically not possible.

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