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Forest officials, police give free hand to killer dumpers


JORABAT, Nov 4 - Reckless driving of dumper trucks, a usual view these days, has been posing a serious threat to commuters and pedestrians all over the city and its outskirts. While these stone and earth-carrying dumpers are turning monstrous, with two deaths being reported on the National Highway-37 in the last two weeks, only a few are aware of the actual reason behind it. Worried, conscious citizens here have been raising their voice by writing letters to newspapers, trying to draw the attention of the authorities concerned.

Stressing that the dumpers do not maintain road discipline and cause accidents by speeding, Pawan, a daily commuter on the highway, said, �One would rarely find a dumper moving at a �normal� speed unless it is stuck in a traffic jam.� Trying to know the actual reason, this correspondent had conversations with a number of truckers involved in the earth and stone businesses, and it was gathered that the drivers are paid as per the number of trips they make.

A trucker said it is not the thrill but the greed for money that the mafia and a section of officials have, which forces them to drive at breakneck speed so as to earn maximum profit. Often, either the trucks carry minerals without proper documents or they are overloaded.

Another interesting fact that came to light is that to gain huge profits, the truckers procure a single challan/levy (whichever required) for an unlimited number of trips they make on a single day, whereas a separate challan/levy is actually required for each trip.

Making it possible, some forest officials and police personnel allegedly leave these truck unchecked to earn their share of profit in the form of �protection� money. For their personal gains, these officials allow the truckers to pass in a hassle-free way, causing huge revenue losses to the State. Despite the rise in the number of accidents involving dumper trucks, these policemen or forest staff have not restricted the movement of these trucks or monitored them in any way.

A person with considerable knowledge on these trades informed that there are several stone quarries and hill-cutting sites operational on the outskirts of Guwahati, near Ninth Mile in Meghalaya.

These dumpers carry the materials to the city areas and pass through the jurisdiction of several forest beat offices, and on the city outskirts through the Jorabat beat office under the Divisional Forest office of Kamrup-East division. However, the officials in these offices seem to be placed only as dummies. A conscious section alleged that these corrupt officials are responsible for the deaths caused due to the reckless driving by the truckers.

They felt that a crackdown on such irregularities will allow the State to gain an unbelievable amount of revenue, while also bringing down the number of driving-related incidents to a great extent.

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