Heavy vehicles defy top court, ply BP HighwayDisregarding the Supreme Court’s interim order, heavy vehicles continue to ply the BP Highway, and the authorities concerned have not taken any steps to enforce the directive.
Disregarding the Supreme Court’s interim order, heavy vehicles continue to ply the BP Highway, and the authorities concerned have not taken any steps to enforce the directive.
A single bench of SC Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla on Monday had issued the interim order to the government to bar heavy vehicles from operating on the highway.
The order was issued in response to a writ petition against the government’s May 27 decision to allow operation of vehicles having up to 32 seats and cargo carriers weighing up to 16.2 tonnes on the 158km motorway.
A source said that deliberate attempts were being made to stop the apex court’s order, and that crusher operators and transport service providers had co-opted the local administrations to ensure that the order is not enforced.
BP Highway is the shortest route that connects the Kathmandu Valley with the Tarai. The highway passes through the Sunkoshi river whose banks have several crusher industries. The SC order could put the business of these crusher operators at risk if trucks were to be barred from plying the highway. The same goes for the bus operators.
The source said that these crusher operators and transport service providers were bribing the government officials to allow heavy vehicles on the highway.
A bus operator told the Post that the owners of large buses and trucks were paying Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 per vehicle daily to the local administration so that they could operate on the highway.
More than 2,000 vehicles, including heavy cargo trucks and buses, travel the highway daily.
The local administration of Sindhuli said that heavy vehicles were still being allowed to ply the highway because the office had not yet received any instruction from the centre.
Chief District Officer Gyan Prasad Dhakal said that his office cannot enforce the court’s decision without formal letter from the government.