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Weighbridge staff accused of seeking bribes

Weighbridge staff accused of seeking bribes

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Apr 07, 2013 - 17:38

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): Truck drivers have accused officials of a weighbridge on the Jalalabad-Kabulinfo-icon road in eastern Laghman province of demanding illegal money on the pretext of axle overloading.

Qararuddin, an oil tanker owner, alleged on Saturday he paid 500 afghanis to the scale officials each time to avoid unnecessary delays in fuel transportation to his clients.

He said huge bribes were paid to truck scale staff by drivers of vehicle found overloaded. He argued the likelihood of delays was a major reason for the payment of illegal gratification.

The driver asked the government to prevent bribery on the route in order to facilitate the movement of commercial goods.

Qararuddin said almost every vehicle carried extra load that benefited weighbridge officials, but caused damage to the road.

"I gave 1000 afghanis to the scale officials a little while earlier," claimed a truck driver belonging to Pakistaninfo-icon's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He paid the backhander because he had loaded three tonnes extra goods on his vehicle.

Another driver, Anwarul Haq, who transports commercial goods to Kabul from Torkham, pointed out the highway had been damaged at various locations by overloaded vehicles. He said scale officials allowed such vehicles in return for money.

Nangarhar Public Works Director Rassoul Gul Faqir said they acknowledged overloaded vehicles damaged roads. He said his department was working on a plan to repair damaged portions this year.

When asked, Laghman weighbridge official Abdul Qadir expressed unawareness about bribery at the facility, insisting he had not received any complaint in this connection.

However, he promised to punish those accepting bribes. "If I am proved guilty of having accepted bribes, I am ready to be prosecuted," the official remarked.

ma/mud

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