Truck drivers, owners pay over Rs 47k cr bribe annually

Truck drivers, owners pay whopping Rs 47,000 crore bribe annually

(Image by Peter H from Pixabay)

Corruption is rampant in truck operation as drivers and truck owners pay around Rs 47,852 crore annually as a bribe to different government authorities and in which large amount goes to police, says a recent survey.

“The bribe amount in trucking operation was going up every as it was Rs 2,048 crore in 2006-07,” said a sample survey conducted by SaveLife Foundation, talking to truck drivers and owners across the country.

The survey report titled " Status of Truck Drivers in India", covered interviewing 1,217 truck drivers and 101 fleet owners in 10 cities across the country including Bengaluru, Chennai and Vijayawada.

The survey report further said about 2.8% of total expenditure was paid as bribe to various authorities during the trip. 

"Truckers pay bribe to such officials at one or another stage of trucking operation either due to fear, to get away with structural hurdles, or to avoid business losses or for mutual benefits," said the report. 

In Bengaluru, total 53% of the respondents admitted to paying average bribe of Rs 438 per round trip to traffic/highway police while 24.2% of the respondents truck drivers claimed of paid bribe of Rs 469 per round trip local groups. 

Fatigue:

Almost half of the truck drivers said they drive trucks continuously, even if they feel fatigued or sleepy. On average, respondents drive for about 12 hours a day. Overall, one in five respondents admitted to taking some kind of drugs during trips, said the survey.

In Kolkota, Kanpur and Delhi NCR, over half of the respondents confirmed driving under the influence of drugs.

Plight of truck drivers/owners in Bengaluru

In Bangalore, about 41% of the respondents reported a deterioration in their quality of life in the last 10 years and more than 50% of the respondents in Bangalore stated that they drive while they are sleepy/fatigued.

When asked to report the key health-issues faced during trips, almost 82% of them reported back aches while 65% reported headaches/dizziness. More than half of the respondents in Bangalore admitted to paying a bribe to traffic/highway police as compared to nearly 67% of the respondents nationwide, said the report.

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