Shillong, May 3 (NNN): The Meghalaya High Court directed to revamp the monitoring and checking system to ensure all transporters adhere to the weight restrictions.
Hearing a PIL filed by one Tennydard M Marak related to the overloading of coal trucks, the bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said, “The monitoring and checking system should be revamped so as to ensure that all transporters adhere to the weight restrictions if only to ensure the longevity of the roads.”
The court has also directed the state to file a further affidavit before the next hearing fixed to be held on May 20.
“Accordingly, the state should intimate the way in which it plans to monitor all goods vehicles as to the weight carried therein,” it said.
The court said as far as trucks carrying legally or illegally mined coal are concerned, they require to be checked for purposes other than mere overloading.
There is no doubt that the state is undertaking such an exercise to ensure that illegally mined coal does not have an easy passage, it added.
The court however said the other aspect of the matter is more important and cannot be confined to trucks carrying illegally mined coal and is extended to other goods vehicles.
Stating that most of the highways in this state see less traffic in the rain than otherwise, it said, however, since the material that is used to make up the surface of the road, particularly highways, are water-soluble, overladen trucks cause quicker erosion and disturbance of the metalled layer of the highways.
The court said the state says that there are weighbridges in place and declarations have to be furnished upon adhering to the prescribed limits adding on the ground, however, it appears that only heavier trucks now ply on these roads.
These heavy trucks lead to the wear and tear of the top surface and unless the weight in the trucks is controlled, they would lead to an earlier degradation of the surface of the road than warranted, it said.
It added that the weight of the goods together with the tare weight of the vehicles should be such that the constructed highway should be able to bear and potholes do not emerge as often or as quickly as they now do.
Further, the court said there do not appear to be many weighbridges between Shillong and Umiam or even between Umiam and Khanapara for any detailed examination of the weight of the trucks being conducted and judicial notice has to be taken of the fact that most of the trucks are 16-wheelers or more and they are otherwise capable of carrying much greater weight than the limit prescribed by the state.