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Rs 395cr lost in load penalties

Shillong, March 20: The Meghalaya government has lost crores of rupees by not penalising overloaded trucks, despite the fact that such trucks have always been blamed for creating severe traffic snarls in and around Shillong.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for the year ended March 31, 2010, released here last Wednesday, revealed that the government lost Rs 395.09 crore by not penalising overloaded trucks.

The report added that the loss came to light when records of the commissioner of transport were cross-matched with those of the director of mineral resources check posts in Dainadubi, Dawki, Mookyndur, Umkiang and Umling in March 2010. The process revealed that 5,15,394 commercial trucks carried 80,74,079 metric tonnes of coal against the maximum permissible limit of 51,53,940 metric tonnes between April 2008 and March 2009.

“But the excess load of 29,20,139 metric tonnes carried by these trucks beyond the permissible limit escaped notice of the enforcement wing of the transport department, resulting in non-levy and consequent non-realisation of minimum fine of Rs 395.09 crore,” the report added.

The report said scrutiny of records in the transport department revealed several cases of non-observance of the provisions of the Act/Rules resulting in non/short levy of fees and fines.

These cases are only illustrative, based on test checks, reflecting the flaws in the working of the department, the report said. It also said although similar cases were pointed out every year, the “irregularities persisted”.

“As such, we feel the department needs to improve its internal control mechanism in order to guard against the recurrence of such lapses,” the report added.

Further, the report said test check of the combined registers and other records of eight units relating to the transport department during 2009-10 revealed non-realisation of taxes, fees and fines amounting to Rs 398.57 crore in 33 cases.

The report also said during the last five years (including the report year), several instances of non/short levy, non/short realisation of taxes, fees and fines and loss of revenue, among others, with revenue implication of Rs 1,806.1 crore in 22 paragraphs were highlighted.

“Of these, the transport department had accepted audit observations in seven paragraphs involving Rs 1,236.43 crore and had since recovered Rs 4 lakh, which is 0.32 per cent,” the report added.

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