Monday, December 22, 2014

Transport stakeholders reiterate call for weigh bridge removal

The continued presence of a number of weigh bridges which have been constructed along the main roads going through upcountry regions in the country has been cited to be a major factor inconveniencing trunk drivers who transports goods across the border. The Chairman of the Association of Truck Owners in Tanzania, David Masanja reiterated the call over the week end in Dar es Salaam during the launch of Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT) Fund which is initiated by Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA). Masanja was contributing in a debate put across for discussion before the actual launching exercises took place that highlighted the impact of goods transportation and logistics to the Tanzanian people. In his contribution, he blamed the government to have failed to remove all weigh bridges stationed along the main roads which the stakeholders have been crying but to no avail. In his speech he noted that, weigh bridges have been inconveniencing truck drivers who pose in a queue and take more time an aspect that make them reach late to their final destination. Masanja who claimed himself to be a driver in recent past, said that, the long tiresome journey all the way coupled by frequent check up by the police in every a certain distance of a kilometer confuses drivers who are bored without a cause. 

A truck on a weigh bridge.

According to him, he suggests that, there should be only one point for weigh bridge check up at the port of embarkation for all fleet trucks so as to avoid disturbances by the police on their way through. He also blamed a routine inspection of police on the sealed containers on transit at every police control barrier, saying that, this is not fair as there is no rule to open a container once it is sealed at the port of embarkation. However, he said that, police should have a trust on what has been sealed has its own regulation unless otherwise there is a suspicion for security purposes, or should they introduce a screening technology like what is being done in other countries. Cornered for comments an officer from the Ministry of transport who was contacted and spoke in a telephone interview on conditions of anonymity and rejected the idea of removing weigh bridges for among the reasons he cited of having them stationed along main roads is to restrict drivers from overloading excess loads. He said that, the government had imposed such restrictions in order to let drivers adhere to basic rules of transportation as stipulated in the national transport policy with fears as most roads would get damaged if such rules are left without being observed. Tanzania has been seen to be embracing an overdue transport logistics among which have been hampering the transport sector in central corridor despite the East Africa Community initiatives of letting such barriers to be removed to allow free movements of goods to EAC regional states. However, a transport stakeholder, Ibrahim Ahamed Said from Zanzibar said in an interview that, the government needed to reduce non-tariff barriers in order to facilitate inland transportation. However, he suggested that, there is a great need to revamp the central railways network systems in order to be used for transportation of goods as the mode is cheaper, reliable and efficient than road transport for it doesn’t demand check up nor any other unnecessary logistics as claimed by transporters.

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