Car carriers protest against Rajasthan government’s move to hike penalty
Big trailers transporting cars and two-wheelers from factories to showrooms (car carriers) have started parking their vehicles on Rajasthan borders protesting against the state government’s decision to hike the “penalty” from Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000 for allowing them to enter the state.
While association of the car carriers says this penalty is “illegal” as there is no provision to impose such a fine, the state transport department has maintained that such vehicles pose risk to other road users and there is a need to discourage their movement across the state.
The state government has hiked the penalty despite the Centre’s notification specifying the dimensions of such vehicles. “We are soft targets for the transport department to earn more revenue. Non-plying of our vehicles will impact movement of cars from factories to showrooms not only in Rajasthan, but also in other regions,” Vipul Nanda, president of Car Carriers Association said.
The road transport ministry has notified the length of car carrier trailers up to 18.75 metres, which comes into effect from April 1. “Many of the car carriers have reduced the length of trailers to meet this norm and this will be completed in March 2017. Still the state governments are harassing us by taking fines from such trailers,” Nanda said.
Justifying the move, a senior Rajasthan government official said, “Increasing penalty is a deterrent. If such vehicles avoid roads in Rajasthan, there will be less accidents.”
Meanwhile, a section of experts in the transport sector said car carriers should not play the victim card, though there have been several instances of states resorting to “illegal fines or challans”. They said despite repeated appeal of the Haryana government to reduce the length of the car carriers, most of them have been plying on the roads. Most of such vehicles are registered in Haryana.