Environmentalists and social activists in south Tamil Nadu are up in arms against the police for allegedly turning a blind eye towards trucks overloaded with minerals. The activists are upset that the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 1988 is not being implemented in the case of trucks overloaded with minerals, causing a loss to the state exchequer.
Sudhakaran Raja, an activist in Tenkasi district of south Tamil Nadu, told IANS, “The police seems to have turned their back on the trucks overloaded with minerals and going to neighbouring Kerala state. The trucks that are overloaded should be penalized and a minimum fine of Rs 20,000 should be collected and an additional Rs 2000 per extra tonne also levied as fine. However, the policemen are just penalizing them Rs 2000 as per the old clause in the Motor Vehicles Act.”
The social activists said the police are implementing proper fines for drunken driving according to the amended Act. An amount of Rs 10,000 is levied as fine which is on the basis of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 1988.
An activist told IANS that 1000 trucks are plying to Kerala from Tenkasi district alone and most of them are overloaded with minerals. Instead of a minimum fine of Rs 20,000, the policemen are collecting only Rs 2000 as fine and that means a minimum loss of Rs 18000 per truck.
The activist said that the state government is losing a huge amount of money by way of fines and alleged corruption at the highest level in the police regarding transportation of minerals from the state.
Former MLA Raviarunan said that the police is biased towards mineral transporters and the state government is losing heavily by this. He said that he had already petitioned Chief Minister M.K. Stalin about this corruption.
However senior police officers told IANS that they are yet to receive any intimation from the state government to collect the fine according to the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
N. Raghavan of the environmental group, Sraddha told IANS, “There is corruption in the transport of minerals and also during loading, and political parties and police are hand in glove in this. The state is losing heavily but the police don’t care. Our concern is that there is environmental violation in the transport of each truck and we are planning a series of public protests against this.”