Usually the commuters in the industrial areas or on the inter-city roads, express disappointment for getting stuck in heavy traffic for hours due to trucks carrying goods from states across the country. KNN India caught up the transport associations to explore their side of the story.
The transporters and the entrepreneurs believe that there is a need for a drastic improvement in the quality of road network infrastructure in India to cut down on the time consumed in transport of goods.
One of the main causes for low share of internal trade in India is the delay and roadblocks in goods transport from one state to another and the complex tax structures in different states.
Further, each state also has different rules, laws and regulations. Also, the poor condition of the roads, lack of highways, traffic congestion and red tapism too account for delays in good transport.
VK Sharma, Owner, ASD Cargo Carrier told KNN, “Now a days, highways are in good conditions and we do not face any such problems, but yes sometimes we don’t find good roads. We basically face the problems in industrial areas.”
“The streets there are not in good conditions and vehicle goods are struck due to electricity wires,” he added.
Nimish Patel from Teep Roadlines , who is also the Toll Committee Co- Chairman of All India Motor Transport Congress, said, “We don’t have any rest area and parking areas in the cities for trucks. There should be a secured area for the trucks. Roads are good but extra infrastructure has not been built.”
Apart from this, there are also different timings for entry of trucks into different cities.
Talking about the roadblocks on the borders, the transporters pointed out few issues like multiple taxes, get ‘Behti’ pass, checking at each border and within the cities, VAT, traffic police etc.
Sharma said, “We have to pay multiple taxes while entering in any state or city, if those taxes can be collected in one place then it would be very helpful.”
“GST is a good concept and would be very helpful. We go to UP where we have to get the ‘behti’ pass then in next border we have to terminate that ‘behti’. Many times, the drivers make mistake while telling the number as the drivers are not educated. Immediately they will asked to show behti where they would find that the numbers are not matching, after which would stop the truck. These small things become big for the transporters. Behti should be removed. Checking should be done of papers and not the trucks in the highways,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nimish Patel said that, “Government has built up the roads and taking tolls but they have not built any rest areas. We are paying tolls so we need facilities too. We have already told the Government, we are not against the revenue. If we don’t pay toll then no infra will be built up because Government says it has no money to build roads.”
“On the collection of toll, we have provided two studies to the Government from IIM-Calcutta. 87000 crores of fuel and manpower has been wasted whereas the total toll collections are 15000 crores. Tolls are major source of corruption for the Government. They are not looking into it. We have Police, Police Highway, VAT, excise which affects my delivery time,” he added.
The transporters also pointed that one the truck leaves a city after all the clearances then there should be a system where they are not asked to stop, load-unload the goods at every check point.
“Generally, there are only two people in a truck – a truck driver and an assistant. When they are stopped again and again at the check nakas, they have to unload the goods from the truck which takes time and then again load them back into the truck which again consumes time,” said a truck driver.
“Then the time to enter or cross the city ends and we have to wait for next day to start our journey,” he said adding that this is also one of the major causes for delays.
According to a report by Ernst & Young in 2013, the average speed of a truck in India is 20-40 kms/h which globally it is 60-80 kms/h in developed countries.
Average truck distance covered per day in India is 250-400 kms while in developed countries it is 500 kms in BRICS and 700-800 kms in US and Europe.