By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 10: Many quarters particularly transporters have questioned if the Jiribam weighbridge is serving its intended purpose or not.
Key representatives of some transport organisations said, on condition of anonymity, that the idea of installing a weighbridge at Jiribam was necessitated by dishonesty and fraudulence on the part of goods carriers plying on Imphal-Jiribam highway.
There is a standing order of the Transport Department which says that trucks plying on Imphal-Jiribam highway should not carry loads heavier than 24 tonnes (including weight of truck).
It is a common knowledge whether truck drivers operating on Imphal-Jiribam have been complying with the particular Government order or not.
How the particular order is violated is known not only among truck drivers but also among transport associations and authorities concerned.
A truck with six axles carry up to 450 bags of cement on Imphal-Jiribam highway. Trucks assigned to transport rice have also been carrying cement piled beneath rice bags.
A few years back, a truck transporting rice was also found carrying cement beneath the rice bags as it was overloaded and fell down a bridge near Nung Dolan. The bridge could not withstand the weight of the truck and it broke down plunging the truck below. Police even registered an FIR in connection with the particular incident, said the transport organisation representatives.
Most of the bridges on Imphal-Jiribam highway including Barak and Makru bridges are not very strong. It was for this reason that the Transport Department issued the order restricting tonnage of trucks plying on the highway to 24 tonnes.
Notwithstanding the order, trucks carried heavier loads which led to collapse of Makru and Barak bridges every now and then. Every time these bridges collapsed, it took two-three days or more to repair them thereby causing serious hindrance to transportation of all types of goods and movement of people. Subsequently, many concerned people came up with the idea of installing a weighbridge at Jiribam.
Caretakers, operators and all authorities concerned know very well which trucks are carrying which goods and whether their weights are heavier than the permitted tonnage or not.
But all the trucks lined up before the weighbridge are given passage under a tacit understanding thereby defeating the very purpose and spirit of installing the weighbridge, said the transport representatives.
They asserted that any weighbridge run by an authority or any private party would not serve any purpose until and unless all stake holders are sincere.