Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Will truck terminals become a reality?

Will truck terminals become a reality?

The stationary trucks choke up the Chamrajpet Road in Bangalore, causing traffic snarls.
Y Maheswara Reddy
First Published : 27 Jan 2009 04:49:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 27 Jan 2009 01:40:18 PM IST

BANGALORE: Heavy transport trucks are considered an impediment for smooth movement of vehicles on roads in Bangalore city.

These trucks always shoulder blame for causing chaos on the roads, especially Old Madras Road, Tumkur Road, Hosur Road and Bellary Road. Many attempts were made to ensure these trucks do not enter the city, but in vain.

The truck terminal at Yeshwantpur, set up by D Devaraj Urs Truck Terminal Ltd, a state government undertaking, was able to mitigate the problems of truckers to some extent.

The then Minister for Transport Aziz Sait in the S Bangarappa cabinet had inaugurated it in 1992. Strange is the irony, that on the occasion of World Environment Day every year, the chief minister or transport minister promise to set up more truck terminals.

But it turns out to be lip service considering not a single truck terminal has been set up ever since 1992.

According to the Rule 117 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, the state government or any authority, in consultation with the local authority having jurisdiction in the area concerned, has to determine the places at which motor vehicles may be parked either indefinitely or for a specified period of time.

The Bangalore City Lorry Transport Agents' Association (BCLTAA) has represented several times to the officials concerned in the transport department demanding that truck terminals be established.

But the demand, yes, is yet to be met.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has proposed to establish truck terminals in Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, Bellary and Mysore through public private partnership, but no such project has been envisioned in and around Bangalore.

"We have made several representations since 2005. Their promises remained just that. The need of the hour is to provide truck terminals to mitigate traffic woes in the city," says S K Chand Basha, president of BCLTAA.

According to Basha, around 10,000 trucks enter Bangalore city every day.

The choked roads at Mamulpet, Chamrajpet, Jolly Mohalla, Kalasipalya, New Tharagupet and Sultanpet, which are both an eyesore and constant triggers of traffic jams are shining testimonies to this long standing demand.

On January 30, 2008, Bangalore Development Authority's special officer for land acquisition had informed the managing director of D Devaraj Urs Truck Terminals Ltd, Muddhu Mohan, that BDA was in the process of acquiring 259 acres of land for establishing truck terminals at the junctions of the peripheral ring roads.

However, the BDA is yet to hand over the land to the authorities concerned even after a year.

Mohan, on the other hand, has made it clear that work on the truck terminals would commence as soon as the BDA handed over the land.

"We plan to establish six truck terminals.

We have already paid Rs 6 crore to BDA towards land acquisition. The remaining money will be paid as soon as the government releases the funds.

These truck terminals will be developed under public private partnership," he said.

Thus, the billion-dollar question is: When will BDA handover the land to D Devaraj Urs Truck Terminals Ltd? History, by the way, is not on the side of those demanding the terminals.


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