Patiala, April 1
Despite repeated warnings, the illegal commercial use of tractor-trailers continues unabated in the district with the traffic wing turning to be a mute spectator. A majority of these vehicles do not even bear registration numbers and continue to enter the city area during peak day hours.
The traffic wing has allowed brick-kiln owners to use these vehicles for ferrying bricks and construction material in the city.
The Punjab Government had banned the use of tractor-trailers for commercial purposes. As per the recent orders issued by the state Transport Department and the traffic wing of the Punjab Police, all enforcement agencies, including the district transport offices and the traffic police in the district, were asked to issue challans to violators and act as per the law against them. However, the district police and officials of the Transport Department have failed to keep the menace in check.
Brick-kiln owners are the biggest defaulters. Each morning, hundreds of these illegally used vehicles, operating without registration numbers, enter the city, causing threat to the schoolgoing children. A majority of these vehicles do not even have reflectors, thus raising concern for the other commuters.
The state government’s decision to ban the commercial use of these vehicles had come following the recent spurt in their use without paying any tax to the government. As tractors are primarily used for agriculture purposes, there is no tax levied on them. Being an agriculture-dominated state, Punjab villagers have huge number of tractor-trailers, which the villagers rent out when not being used in farms.
Tractor-trailers are being used for commercial activities in all parts of the state, with the connivance of the Transport and Police Departments. In a majority of cases, these vehicles are used to supply sand, bricks, gravel and other construction material, despite the fact that owners of these vehicles do not pay any road tax or other taxes to the state government.
Senior traffic officials claimed they allowed tractor-trailers loaded with construction material in the city only before 9 am and after 6 pm. “We will start issuing challans to the violators,” an official said.
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