Even though the Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act was passed in 2016 stating stricter rules shall be applicable for the transportation of animals but it has not been effectively implemented. As per the act vehicles carrying animals should have permanent partitions to enable the transportation of animals individually in each partition. The amendment further specifies that the size of partitions should not be less than 2 sq m for cows and buffaloes, 2.25 sq m for horses and mares, 0.3 sq m for sheep and goats, 0.6 sq m for pigs and 40 sq cm for poultry. However, transporters are flouting rules by overloading their vehicles with animals as there is a possibility of them sustaining injuries and transmission of disease. The government had passed the amended Motor Vehicles Act but it doesn’t have mechanism to monitor vehicles not adhering to rules. Thus the amended act remains restricted on paper due to poor implementation. Even ministers, bureaucrats and officials from Transport Department are unaware of the amended act as violators roam scot free after committing the offence.
Advocate Arya Ambre said, “We had filed an RTI with the Transport Department pertaining to the action taking against those violating the amended Motor Vehicles Act, but they refused to provide necessary information. Then, I approached the state RTI but they only provided me the data about how many vehicles have been caught for flouting norms. Thus, I have not received any satisfactory reply from them. Animal transporters are illegally plying animals and violating rules and this practice must be curbed.”
Kamlesh Shah, trustee of Akhil Bharatiya Krishi Go Seva Sangh said, “They have failed to properly implement livestock transportation rules. They have failed to prevent illegal cow trafficking. Vehicles transporting animals must be ISO certified and should have partitions. We had taken up this matter with the RTO commissioner but they are unable to take action against offenders due to manpower crunch.”
Hansraj Ahir, Union Minister of State for Home said, “The RTO must inspect the make of the vehicles before issuing permit. They should effectively implement the rules of Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act. We will take stringent action against those transporters who are illegally transporting animals as per the amended act.”
Advocate Raju Gupta said, “We have filed an RTI to inquire about the poor implementation of the act but we have not received appropriate reply. RTO is yet to receive a notification from the centre pertaining to the implementation of the act. Only a single animal can be transported in a single partition. Penalty of Rs 2000 must be imposed on vehicles transporting animals without partition. Once a law is passed nobody is bothered about is implementation.”
When AV spoke to Govind Saindane, Regional Transport officer (Tardeo) about violation of rules by animal transportation vehicles, he refused to comment about it.
The Central Motor Vehicles (Twelfth Amendment) Rules, 2016
In the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, after rule 125D the following rule shall be inserted, namely:
“125E. Special requirements of motor vehicles transporting livestock- 1, On and after the January 1, 2016, motor vehicles used for transportation of livestock by road shall be accordance with the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards as provided in IS-14904:2007; or IS-5238:2001; or IS-5236:1982, as the case may be, as amended from time to time and the transporter or consigner of the livestock shall follow the code of practice laid down in the respective specification regarding the transport of the live stock.
(2) Subject to sub-rule (1), the motor vehicles for carrying animals shall have permanent partitions in the body of the vehicle so that the animals are carried individually in each partition where the size of the partition shall not be less than the following namely:
- Cows and buffaloes – 2 sq m.
- Horses and mares– 2.25 sq m.
- Sheep and goat– 0.3 sq m.
- Pig– 0.6 sq m.
- Poultry– 40 sq cm.
(3) No motor vehicle meant for carrying animals shall be permitted to carry any other goods.
(4) The regional transport officer shall issue special licenses for the motor vehicles meant for carrying animals on the basis of vehicles modified in accordance with the provisions of sub rule (2).