Mussoorie, October 15
The incidence of overloaded vehicles, especially Jeeps and Commanders plying in the Jaunpur development region of Tehri Garhwal district are posing a risk to the lives of commuters allegedly due to the apathy of the Transport Department.
Overloaded with schoolchildren and the local commuters, the vehicles can be seen on the Aglar-Thatyur-Mussoorie road plying with impunity and posing a risk to human lives in the process.
The damage to the roads due to the flood disaster in June is making the vehicles less stable and difficult to steer and resulting in resulting in bumpy rides for the commuters.
Most of the Jeep owners ignore the specification regarding the amount of weight one vehicle can bear.
Apart from this, due to overheating, most of the vehicles plying on the roads are in a worn down condition, thus increasing the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.
The risk increases during the night time when the headlights of most of the vehicles blind oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the road.
The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is also diminished, escalating the chances for an accident and making it difficult to overtake. The brakes too have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading, the brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness.
The hapless commuters are forced to travel on the roof and sometime hanging at the back of the vehicles as no roadways bus or vehicle has been allocated on the Aglar-Thatyur-Mussoorie route.
The insurance cover on overloaded vehicles is void as overloading is illegal. So in case of accident the commuters are not able to receive any medical benefit too.
Surendar Kumar, Assistant Road Transports Officer (ARTO), Tehri, said they had they had started a campaign against the overloaded vehicles when some vehicles were seized and fined.
However due to the strike of the RTO constables, the campaign had stopped. Once the strike is called off, the campaign against overloading would begin earnestly, he added.