Permit check on Sikkim vehicles

Darjeeling/Siliguri: The Darjeeling district administration has started checking documents of commercial vehicles entering the district from the neighbouring state of Sikkim to confirm whether they are carrying proper permits to ply in Bengal.

"We are only following the procedures as per the reciprocal agreement between our state and Sikkim. Commercial vehicles which are registered in Sikkim should carry a permit from the state to enter Bengal and ply to different areas. The exercise that we have taken up in the past one week is only to confirm whether they are carrying the appropriate document," said Joyoshi Dasgupta, the district magistrate of Darjeeling.

For the past few days, policemen have been spotted in and around Siliguri, checking papers of vehicles which have descended downhill from Sikkim.

As per the reciprocal agreement, any commercial vehicle registered in Bengal has to obtain a recommendation - issued on yearly basis - from the administration.

While entering Sikkim, the permit needs to be shown at the inter-state border point - like in Rangpo - to move further to the state.

"We don't know the reason but in the past few weeks, the administration in Siliguri stopped issuing the recommendations. A number of vehicles could not go to Sikkim as the recommendations have lapsed. On the other hand, Sikkim vehicles are being constantly checked. It seems something has cropped up between the two state governments on the issue of transport agreement," said a transporter in Siliguri.

A source in the administration said transporters and representatives of tourism sector had earlier mentioned some of the problems they face in Sikkim while plying vehicles before chief minister Mamata Banerjee.


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