In a bid to promote seamless movement of heavy transport across the country, the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping recently took a landmark initiative by launching a web portal (https://morth-owc.nic.in) to grant online approvals for transportation of over dimensional and over weight cargo.
The initiative, besides saving time and avoiding transit delays in movement of heavy equipment by modular hydraulic axle trailers, is expected to make the process of granting approvals for transportation of over dimensional and over weight cargo more transparent.
Over-dimensional cargo is defined in terms of weight and dimension. In dimension terms, anything above 40 ft length with 8.25 ft height and 8.25 ft width is considered over-dimensional cargo. With regard to weight, government regulations permit 11 tonnes per axle. Anything above 35 tonnes is taken as over-dimensional cargo.
The MoRTH has framed guidelines for the safe movement of over dimensional and over weight cargo on national highways. Under these guidelines, trailers are required to strictly observe load restrictions on roads and secure prior permission from concerned road authorities in states and from National Highways Authority of India and Border Roads Organisation prior to transporting over dimensional and over weight cargo.
With massive infrastructure development taking place in the country, particularly in the power sector, more and more over dimensional and over weight cargo are being transported by road. Till now, the process of obtaining clearances from multiple agencies for transporting such cargo was cumbersome often leading to time and cost overruns in infrastructure projects.
The online facility of the MoRTH is expected to considerably reduce the transit time of vehicles transporting over dimensional and over weight cargo. According to the Hydraulic Trailer Owners Association, the web portal will provide single window permission for movement of over dimensional and over weight cargo from origin to destination. It can be accessed by state authorities as well.
Speaking at the launch of the web portal, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said the fast movement of over dimensional and over weight cargo would contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ drive. Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal, who was also present on the occasion, said the initiative by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping would immensely help the power sector by facilitating easy movement of power plant equipment.
Transporters seeking permission for movement of over dimensional and over weight cargo need to first register on the web portal before applying for permission online.
“The time taken to process applications for movement of over dimensional and over weight cargo has drastically come down following the launch of the web portal. The process, in addition to becoming fast and efficient, has also become paperless. The transporters, however, need to take print out of the permission granted,” T.G. Ramalingam, Joint Secretary, HTOA, told Projectmonitor.