Beginner's Guide 4: Regulatory Bodies Governing the Trucking Industry
Published On Sep 22, 2016
By transporting tonnes of goods even to the remotest parts of the country, trucks have become the lifeline of millions of people all across India. The total number of road network in the country including national highways, state highways, district, rural and other roads span 42,58,546 km. And the number of goods vehicles plying on the road account up to 8.1 million (2013). Which brings into focus the several regulatory bodies that help keep the trucking industry on track.
The fourth part of the Beginner’s Guide details out these governing bodies that help instill discipline and bring the industry together as one.
Regional Transport Office
The Regional Transport Office (RTO) is the basic governing body that functions under the Transport Commissioner in every state. The RTO not only provides license to drivers and vehicles, it plays more as a gatekeeper for regulating the quality of vehicles on the road. Currently, several RTOs are being digitized and the government is working towards establishing a single database to track all license holders in the country.
For long distance trips, truckers oftentimes cross different states and face tax variations at inter-state levels. Thus, provisions have been made through check posts for inspections by tax administrators. Also, the recent proposal over the GST bill is said to rationalize taxation and eliminate tax checkpoints.
Traffic policemen are deployed at various important traffic signals to regulate traffic flow and prevent accidents. However, due to lack of traffic discipline in India, truckers often violate road and carrying capacity rules which results in hefty fines being levied on them by traffic policemen.
Road Development Authorities
Various authorities govern and maintain India’s road network such as the NHAI, Public Works Department (PWD) and local bodies. The construction, operation and maintenance of road networks rests on different authorities as per the institutional structure.
Central and State Bodies
One of the major role players in framing and implementing road policies is the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Also the Public Works Department and Transport Commissioners at state level help create and implement policies that help in smooth running of the trucking industry.