Despite the orders of the Supreme Court to stop running of 'Gharhuka' across the country, the practice of plying the vehicle is going on unchecked in Punjab and in other parts of the country.
A 'Gharhuka' is an unauthorised four wheeler vehicle which is fitted with a diesel engine that is used to install a tube well for irrigation purpose.
The apex court, while deciding a writ petition on chairman Rajasthan state road transport corporation v/s Santosh and others on May 10, 2013, ordered that the 'Jugaada' (as 'Gharhuka' is called in Rajasthan) can be plied only after meeting the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988.
A Gharhuka violates all the provisions of the Act. It does not have a registration and insurance. The vehicle causes a large number of accidents and the owners of Gharhukas generally do not have the financial capacity to pay compensation to persons with disability and to depenendents.
During the hearing of the said case, an application had been filed by the Rashtriya Kisan Morcha for intervention which was allowed. The Morcha raised a grievance that in case 'Jugaada' is prohibited completely, it will create a serious problem for the farmers.
Morcha argued that the farmers should not be refrained from using the improved carts in villages to visit farms and to bring agricultural produces from their lands.
Ministry of shipping, road transport and highways had issued a circular dated July 26 in 2007 issuing instructions to all the State Transport Authorities of the country clarifying that a Jugaada (Gharhuka) is a vehicle under the section 2(28) of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and all the states are under a legal obligation to enforce the same. Therefore,no person should be permitted to ply a Jugaada (Gharhuka) as it violates all the provisions of the Act.
Despite of the issuance of such a circulation, states have not enforced the terms of the said circular issued by the central government.
Gurdaspur district transport officer Jagwinderjit Singh Grewal on Saturday said the transport department had been taking strict action against the plying of 'Gharhukas' in the district.
He added that if the department saw a 'Gharhuka' running on district roads, the department would impound it.
However, the four-wheeler is still being openly used for commercial purposes denying the laws. Iron stores, tent house, junk shops of the state have Gharhukas to carry their goods to various destinations and they run the vehicle in connivance with police and the transport department.