The All North East Commercial Truck Owners and Operators Association on Monday opposed the decision of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) to make it mandatory for non-tribal drivers to possess its licence to ply on national highways in the area. Association Chairman P.R. Toor said the KHADC, which has an office at Umling in Ri Bhoi district, has started issuing 'trade licence' to non-tribal drivers plying on National Highway 40-44, with each driver forced to pay Rs 200 - 600 which is "illegal".
Arguing that the drivers who possessed the driving licence from the concerned authority could drive any vehicle all over India, he said as per law, all the National Highways belong to the Centre under the Ministry of Surface and Road Transport and not to any other authority. His organization would submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Donkupar Roy requesting him to put a stop to the practice, he said.
The association on Monday submitted a memorandum to Chief Secretary, Ranjan Chatterjee for security to the vehicles playing on the NH 40-44 which became unsafe for the drivers. Toor said between December 2008 and January this year, two drivers were killed along the stretch with one of the vehicles still missing.
Umiam and Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi, Mawryngkneng and Puriang in East Khasi Hills and Mookyndeng in Jaintia Hills districts have become unsafe spots, he said. Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners and Operators Association, one of the associated of ANECTOA, urged Meghalaya Chief Engineer (National Highway), Public Work Department not to grant 'No Objection Certificate' to the Shillong Municipal Board for erection of toll gates in the National Highways.