North-South economic activity low

Movement of goods vehicles just at 75-80% of pre-lockdown period

June 15, 2020 10:47 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST - ADILABAD

Vehicular traffic on NH-44 near Seetagondi ghat in Adilabad district.

Vehicular traffic on NH-44 near Seetagondi ghat in Adilabad district.

The significantly less than normal vehicular traffic on the NH-44 passing through Adilabad district, the major link between north and south from central India, indicates that economic activity has not been fully restored yet despite easing of lockdown restrictions. The movement of vehicular traffic is only at 75-80% than what was recorded before restrictions were imposed in the country on March 22 owing to COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Project Director of Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Nirmal Project Implementation Unit (PIU), A. Tarun Kumar, none of the six toll plazas between the Telangana-Maharashtra border at Dollara village in Jainad mandal of Adilabad district and Hyderabad has recorded normal traffic flow in the month of May. The figures quoted by him had all these toll plazas under the Nirmal PIU recording not more than 85% of the usual traffic, the highest being in the case of the Pipparwada toll plaza, the first one to be passed through after crossing the inter-State border into Telangana or the last one in the reverse direction.

The highest traffic recorded at this toll plaza was 4,665 vehicles of all descriptions on May 14. This was over 84% of the 5,485 vehicles which had crossed the toll gate every day on an average in the week prior to lockdown in the month of March.

The traffic recorded at the Rollmamda and Gamjal toll plazas in Adilabad and Nirmal districts, respectively, was almost similar in terms of percentage but the number of vehicles that crossed the plazas was higher than those at Pipparwada. Apparently, other traffic from Nirmal joins the one coming from central India on NH-44.

One of the reasons for the lower vehicular traffic is the continuing restrictions on inter-State passenger flow in several States. The number of cars which had crossed the Penganga river bridge into Telangana and out of it in the week before the lockdown in March was 7,371 while it was reduced to 4,916 in the first week of June. It is, nevertheless, the heavy vehicular traffic that is the backbone of economic activity between the two sections of the country as most of the goods, be it perishables or machinery, get transported by lorries of all descriptions. As against the 31,683 lorries and other goods vehicles that crossed the inter-State borders in the week prior to lockdown, only 27, 412 such vehicles moved in or out of Adilabad in the first week of June.

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