Blue metal rate shoots up after crackdown
“The special drive is being carried out against the overloaded trucks as they cause damage to roads. The drive is on for the last fortnight,” an official attached to Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Poonamallee said.
According to official sources, several lorries exceed the permitted limits. Lorries carrying blue metal, sources said, overload by six tonnes. Stern action such as suspending licence of drivers and permits is initiated against the erring vehicles. “The drive is not confined to sand and blue metal, but also on other lorries violating rules,” the official added.
In the light of the surprise checks, the cost of blue metal has shot up by Rs 10 per cubic feet. Construction industry sources said the price of blue metal continues to increase due to the restrictions on overloading.Meanwhile, a transporters association has questioned why the surprise checks are confined to the suburbs of Chennai. President of the Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation R Sugumar said the transport department checks are largely done only after the lorries enter the peripheries of the city.
“Sand is being transported from Tiruchirappalli which crosses seven toll plazas and jurisdictions of similar number of RTOs before reaching Chennai. But, why should the vehicle be inspected only after it crosses the toll plaza near Chengalpet and no checking is done on the highway, particularly at the departure point?” he asked. He said sand and blue metal trucks are subjected to such inspections recently while little attention is paid towards other violators.