Around 50% of the goods vehicles on highways and prominent roads of Pune region were found to be overloaded by the flying squads of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Pune during their inspection drives.As many as 26,930 heavy vehicles including trucks, lorries and multi-axle vehicles were checked in 2013-14, of which 13,188 vehicles were found carrying goods more than the permitted limit. In 2012-13, about 40% of the vehicles were found to be overloaded.The Pune region, which includes Pune and Solapur districts have always recorded a high traffic flow of heavy vehicles. We have deployed squads on Pune-Solpaur, Pune-Kolhapur, Pune-Nashik and Pune-Mumbai highways. These squads check if transport vehicles are fit to travel and carry load within the stipulated norms, said an official from RTO.
In last 12 months, the inspectors checked 26,930 vehicles for overloading. Among these, about 5174 vehicles were confiscated, while 8174 vehicles were asked to unload the excess goods before they were allowed to continue plying on roads. The RTO collected Rs 17.62 crore in form of taxes, dues and penalties in all the cases.Road experts have expressed the need for stringent clauses to restrict overloading of heavy vehicles. A retired officer from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation pointed out that carrying excess load in transport vehicles is not only dangerous but also damages the roads. Overloading leads to fast deterioration of roads. The RTO cannot control it and the transporters don't pay attention to the consequences of this dangerous act, he said.
A RTO official said, Most of the cases were registered against trucks and multi-axle lorries. We asked the drivers to avoid carrying excess load. We also noticed that many drivers were unaware of the overloading rules and did not know that their vehicle was carrying more than permissible volume. Inspectors also observed that the goods were not covered properly.Maximum vehicles were checked in Solapur area followed by Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune and Akluj.The RTO also carried special checks at two border check-posts in Mandrup and Marawade in Solpaur district. At these posts, about 4816 vehicles were found overloaded.