There may be good news for those who commute via the road to their work places. The traffic department is consideringbanning the plying of heavy vehicles in the city during the evening peak hours.
As per the plans, authorities are looking at banning heavy vehicles on the city’s arterial roads between 6 pm and 8.30 pm. P Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “We’re planning the move in order to reduce traffic during rush hour.”
Presently, heavy automobiles – trucks, tempos, delivery vans (both three and four-wheelers), lorries, tankers, and multi-axle vehicles – are banned from entering the city between 7 and 11 in the morning. There are nearly 60,000 such vehicles plying on city roads.
According to traffic officials, the plan is still being worked upon and approvals are also awaited. “We intend to prevent movement of vehicles from south to north on all major roads in the city and suburbs, namely Western and Eastern Express Highway, Dr B Ambedkar Road, LBS Marg, SV Road and Link Road,” informed a traffic official.
The vehicles will not be allowed to move about during the evening peak hour. “We expect these heavy vehicles to be parked on interior roads, open grounds or inside their factories during this slot. This will ensure more space on the roads for private vehicles,” said another traffic officer.
While they claimed that traffic on the Eastern Express Highway had reduced due to the morning slot restriction, traffic authorities agreed that there needed to be a better check and more drives to ensure that the rules were being followed.
However, people from the transportation and logistics business claimed that the move would have an adverse effect on costs, which would in turn be passed on to consumers in the form of increase in prices of products. Sources in the know of the transport business felt that that the ban, if implemented, would increase the transportation cost by at least Rs 1,000 per vehicle.
“We would appreciate if the traffic police took our views into consideration as well, before taking a decision,” said Girish Agarwal, President, Bombay Goods and Transport Association (BGTA).
Transport bodies doubted the practicality of the ban. According to them, many times, the truck or tempo needs to return to their respective godowns, which are in Bhiwandi or Pune, on the same day. With the restriction on their movements in the evening, it would lead to a delay, and therefore, an increase in cost of transportation.
Persons in the goods business have demanded that a consensus should be reached on the issue before any rule is put into action.
Heavy vehicles plying in the city
>> No of trucks and lorries: 7,600
>> No of tankers: 371
>> No of three-wheeler delivery vans: 32,000
>> No of four-wheeler delivery vans: 20,000