Truck owners disappointed with increased loading capacity

They say increase in 3MT would make no difference

The revision of the loading capacity or the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of a 10-wheeler truck from 25MT to 28MT by the government has not gone down well with truck owners in the border town of Phuentsholing.

Meanwhile, information and communications minister Karma Donnen Wangdi informed the National Assembly last week that it had conveyed the decision of the Cabinet taken on May 27 to the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) director general Thursday afternoon regarding revising the loading capacity of trucks across the country in tandem with the increase that the government of India enforced last year.

However, truck owners, who have been eagerly waiting for response from the government and whose vehicles have been left without work since May 17, are dissatisfied with the mere increase of 3MT, which they say is not much of benefit to them.

While it may be deemed okay for those transporting goods within the country considering the hilly terrains, truck owners and truckers say they would still incur loss due to numerous hassles while exporting the boulders to Bangladesh.

Trucks, mostly 10 wheelers used in ferrying boulders to Bangladesh, have been parked after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had notified to strictly implement GVW or carrying capacity to traffic police and RSTA since May 17.

However, transporters and truck owners say increase in 3MT would make no difference. The trucks are still allowed to carry not more than 15MT.

They say that it would not even earn them to pay drivers’ salary which includes commission.

“Truckers pay around Nu 8,000 per trip for fuel alone. Also we pay for parking fees at the border and commissions and for foods per trip to the drivers,” they added.

It is expected to have repercussion as truckers who ferry the boulders are still at a loss. If the permissible quantity to carry remains unchanged, the exporters from whom they transport the boulders would have to revise the existing rate, according to the transporters. Currently, truckers are paid up to Nu 1,000 per MT during the trip.

If not, truckers suggested that they could be paid a lump-sum amount of Nu 30,000 per trip to prevent loss.

Also, with the halt in export, exporters say they could not receive payment as they could not meet the quantity prescribed in it. This has resulted in delayed payments and it could take around three months to meet the demand of every Letter of Credit.

Tenzin Nyingpo, who has six 10 wheelers trucks parked in the parking without work, said they have to see if the revision benefits them. 

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that some parts of the trucks are being stolen while having them parked.

 “We are worried about our loan repayment if we keep our vehicles parked without work. Some have reported of losing batteries and tyres,” Sangay Dorji, a truck owner, said. He owns three trucks carrying boulders to Bangladesh.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing