Tuesday, July 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

20,000 killer vehicles off the road
From Raman Mohan

HISAR, July 3 — Road travel in Haryana has become safer with over 20,000 killer vehicles plying illegal being forced off the road. It is learnt that the number of major and minor accidents in the state dipped by a surprising 75 per cent during June.

In addition, Haryana Roadways’ revenue receipts went up last month by a whopping Rs 3 crore because of the drive against illegal vehicles. Even the entry of licensed maxi-cabs inside municipal limits has been banned and passengers are now availing of local bus services offered by the state transport corporation.

It was in May that The Tribune had exposed the racket involving illegal plying of jeeps, matadors and a variety of other passenger vehicles by a mafia under the patronage of influential persons. These vehicles were robbing the state exchequer of several hundred crores a year. Besides, these vehicles were driven so rashly that they accounted for 3000 of the 3800 road accidents that took place in Haryana’s roads last year.

In Hisar, 17 road accidents had been reported during May last. However, within a month of the ban on plying of illegal vehicles, the number of mishaps dropped to a mere four in June. Reports from other districts indicate that the number of road accidents has dropped in the same ratio.

Likewise, almost all Haryana Roadways depots have reported an increase of Rs 15 to 20 lakh in revenue earned during June as compared to the receipts in May last. Transport Department officials expect the receipts to go up further by five to 10 per cent in the coming months. They point out that the drive against these vehicles became fully effective only after June 10. Thus, the actual increase in revenue receipts is expected to be much higher in July.

Most district towns saw local bus services being reintroduced last month after the “killer” vehicles were forced off the roads. In Hisar alone, as many as 40 buses have been deployed on local routes. In all, over 200 buses are reported to have been pressed into service in the major towns of the state. The district administrations have also regulated plying of three-wheeler autorickshaws in the state which has helped bring about welcome changes in traffic conditions in the cities.

In Hisar, despite strong opposition by the TSR Union, the authorities have banned carrying of more than three passengers. Besides, the TSRs can now stop only at designated places to drop or pick up passengers. This too has helped bring the accident rate down considerably. The TSR drivers were notorious for bringing the vehicle to screeching halt every time thay saw a potential passenger standing somewhere en- route.

Official sources said in many other towns stern steps had been taken to check plying of TSRs using kerosene as fuel. Several other towns have introduced rotation system based on odd and even registration numbers for plying of TSRs. This has considerably eased traffic movement inside the municipal limits.

The sources said the district police chiefs had been directed not to allow the current drive to slacken in any manner.

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