Truck ban frustrates public, private operators
Despite the increasing number of truck operators complaining over the recent ban on heavy duty trucks from using the city’s roads during daytime, the Addis Ababa City Administration has insisted on implementing the restrictions.
In a latest development, public institutions even under the city administration have joined in on the complaints. Several business operators and manufacturers were hoping to get a positive node from the Administration to ease the recent restrictions passed on heavy duty trucks.
It is to be recalled that the deputy mayor of Addis Ababa, Takele Uma (Eng.), first announced the ban on motorbikes as well as restrictions on heavy trucks on June 10. The ban then came into enforcement as of last week, starting from July 7.
It was also announced that the use of motorcycle for transportation and business purposes are banned until they are formally registered and their purpose is specified to the administration.
Due to the administration’s firm stance, operators particularly engaged in export item production and contractors are complaining vehemently while others warn the latest law will affect their business as well as the country’s ailing economy.
Public organizations including the Addis Ababa Dry Waste Disposal Agency and Addis Ababa Abattoir Enterprises have said that the latest law has not taken special considerations to the nature of the actual businesses they are engaged in.
Some companies such as those engage in production and transportation of export-oriented items including products of floricultures, horticulture as well as meat and dairy have been pleading to the city administration to grant them either special permission or to partially lift truck restrictions.
Solomon Kidane (PhD), Head of City’s Transport Bureau, and State Minister of the Ministry of Transport, Hiwot Mossisa, attended the half day consultation meetings called by the city administration at Nexus Hotel on Thursday. The two officials responded to various questions and complaints that were raised by the participants.
Exporters have stated that even in Djibouti, the ships cannot wait for them due to the delay of transportations that is caused by the new law.
Addis Abattoir Enterprise on its part said that its workers cannot transport the meet products to their customers in some parts of the city during night time due to safety concerns. Furthermore, they said that the safety concern has worsened in some parts of their customer’s areas where they do not even have a street light.
Nevertheless, Solomon defended the law and said that since it is a new trend, it is expected to see such chaos among the society and takes some time to be accustomed to.
Following the implementation of the ban, various business associations including the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) has requested the city administration to lift the restriction. They argue that their sector should not be considered with other sectors as their products are perishables and need to be transported to the market immediately.
According to sources who talked to The Reporter, since the previous week, officials of the Ethiopian Horticultures producers and Exporters Association have been in touch with the city Administration including the deputy mayor as well as federal government authorities mainly with the Ministry of Trade (MoT), Investment Commissions and other authorities.
In the day time, to move in the city from 10 am to 4 pm, trucks must pay 500 birr per day, while on peak hours in the morning and in the evenings, they have to pay 1,000 birr per day,
The new rules allow for medium truck vehicles that have a capacity of 3.5 tons to move from 10 am to 4 pm freely. The law also forbids trucks from being parked on city roads during the time in which the ban is in effect.
In addition, the ban is in effect for all days except on Sundays. It also sets a time limit on the mobility of construction machinery vehicles, sewage trucks and water trucks. However, the ban does not affect police, defense forces and other emergency service providers.
According to the new directive, the mandate to enforce the law and control the banned vehicles is granted to the Addis Ababa Traffic Management Agency.