In the wake of growing traffic hazards, the Himachal Pradesh government has now decided to limit the plying of multi-tyre trucks and trolleys on busy highways and major roads in the state.
The Public Works Department has taken a decision in this regard following the collapse of the British era bridge that caved in when a 29-tonne multi-tyre truck was passing on it in Solan district.
For long, the successive governments, both of the Congress and the BJP, have been crying hoarse over heavy damages caused to the roads by movement of the heavy trucks that weigh more than 29 tonne but they have done nothing so far to curb their movement.
“Multi-tyre trucks are a big nuisance on the roads. They are not only a traffic hazard but cause heavy damage to roads,” Narinder Chauhan, principal secretary, public works department, told Hindustan Times. “Shortly we will move a proposal to the government to limit the movement of the multi-tyre trucks which are damaging the crust of the roads that are not meant for very heavy traffic,” he added.
On several occasions, public representatives have been demanding a curb on the use of the multi-tyre trucks, particularly on the highway connecting Shimla to Kalka and the one connecting Kiratpur to Manali. The nuisance created by the multi-tyre trucks is more on roads leading to the three major cement plants set up in Darlaghat, Barmana and Bagha Blagh. There are repeated complaints that multi-tyre trucks on the highways are proving to be a major traffic hazard, besides causing immense damage to the roads, particularly the highway connecting Kiratpur to Manali.
The government time and again has proposed that the cement company should bear the cost of maintenance since the traffic had tremendously increased ever since the cement plants came up at Barmana, Darla Ghat and Balag. Besides, the mational highways, the multi-tyre trucks have been plying without any restriction on the state highways.
The number of multi-tyer trucks on the roads increases many-fold, particularly during the apple season even though the administration has announced to ban them this time.
“Certainly we will have to find ways to limit the multi-tyre trucks. Either we could define certain points beyond which these trucks will not be allowed to go further,” said Narinder Chauhan.
The movement of trucks is unhindered on the road connecting Shimla to Hatkoti that passes through the main apple heartland. For the last seven years, the condition of the road has turned from bad to worse as the project to widen it has repeatedly hit the road block. Plying of heavy trucks has caused further damage to the road.
As many as five bridges on the Shimla-Hatkoti Road are on the verge collapsing. However, the government still does not have an alternative plan to salvage the situation.