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70 percent of highways damaged nationwide: ATU

70 percent of highways damaged nationwide: ATU

Oct 18, 2017 - 20:04

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Truckers Union (ATU) on Wednesday said 70 percent of the country’s highways had damaged due to landmine blasts and heavily loaded vehicles.

Addressing a gathering marking National Transport and Transit Day here, ATU head Tela Mohammad Otmanzai accused the government of not paying attention to their issues.

 “Sixty-five to 70 percent of the country’s highways have been damaged due to blasts caused by landmines or heavy traffic that carried more weight than the permissible,” he said.

The ATU head said extortion of drivers had reached the peak and different government institutions were involved in the practice.

Police, traffic personnel, public works officials, municipalities and security personnel at check points demanded money from truckers under different pretexts.

He alleged the Public Works Ministry charged 3,050 afghanis per ton of goods and a truck should not be loaded above 48 tons. On every single extra ton, a truck should be fined 50,000 afghanis, he added.

He said the tonnage law was not being implemented, allowing truckers to carry load according to their wish.

Mohammad Younis, deputy head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said the government should take measures to improve the transfer of goods, rehabilitation of highways, eradication of corruption and insecurity.

“A truck between Herat’s Islam Qala and Kabul is extorted at more than 50 places,” he said.