By Kiyimba Bruno
The Director for infrastructure development for Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Eng. Lauben Byaruhanga Tumwebaze has expressed his discomfort about the dangers that are caused by overloading in the country.
This was revealed in a press briefing that was held at UNRA’s offices in Nakawa where Byaruhanga said that over loading not only poses danger to the safety of other road users but also damages the design lifetime of the road, and environmental degradation as well as leading to unfair trading of commodities on the market, in the long term.
“These after-effects of overloading necessitated the need for more punitive measures to be able to deter this practice on Ugandan roads” said Byaruhanga.
On this note Byaruhanga said that UNRA has tightened its grip by introducing the issuance of Express Penalties for an overloaded vehicle away from the Court fines which previously administered and created delays in delivering of trade commodities.
“UNRA shall charge USD 90.5 for overloading half a tonne as our minimum charge yet the maximum shall be USD145. This shall also have a daily fee in case one delays to take his away her vehicle after being charged and this shall be USD50 per day.” Added Byaruhanga.
He went ahead to say that the money collected shall be used to cover the costs of repairing and maintaining roads.
On this note he warned all who fail to pay the charges that the government of Uganda shall after 14 days advertise their vehicles for auctioning.
“If we get more money than what we actually demand you, then we shall refund the balance to the owner.” Noted Byaruhanga.
He also warned the brokers and middle men who pretend to be UNRA officials and bribe people that there is still enough space in the cells where they can lay. He however shoed more concern here by saying that the increased charges shall chase the brokers away from the business.
The over loading fees have been aligned to the East African Community Load Control regulations. The payment of the express fees is administered through Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) payment system, a convenient way for traders to pay at any time, any day across the different banking institutions recognized by URA.
This is envisaged to reduce on the unnecessary trade barriers and ultimately ensure proper and efficient management of the road asset for the benefit of all Ugandans and to safeguard the country’s investment in building a robust infrastructure base.