Graced by the presence of Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, the Hydraulic Trailer Owners Association (HTOA) India hosted its 15th anniversary event cum conference in New Delhi to celebrate years of growth and success and to celebrate 7 seven years of successful implementation of MoRTH’s ODC portal for heavy-weight shipments movement permissions.

Other eminent and distinguished guests present on the occasion were Amit Vardhan, Joint Secretary- MVL Transport, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Sumit Lall, Founder Partner, CSL Chambers, Rahul Agarwal, Vice President, Invest India, Alok Bhowmick, Director, B&S Engineering, Anurag Chaturvedi, VP and COE Manager- Trade, Transport and Logistics- APMEA Region, Hitachi Energy India, Chandramohan Kandasamy, Chairman & Managing Director, NTC Group, amongst several prominentl veteran dignitaries because of whom the heavy machinery transportation industry has actively become the backbone of Indian industrial infrastructure and economy.

The conference was attended by hydraulic axles owners, regulators (MoRTH/NHAI), civil and construction consultants, vehicle and trailer manufacturers, axles manufacturers, OEMs, heavy-equipment manufacters, EPC contractors, as well as Department of Defence (Indian Army) – all of whom are valuable stakeholders in the heavy machinery transportation industry.

The conference particularly emphasised on the issues shippers/EPC contractors and transporters face, especially when it comes to adhering to innumerable legalities, rules and regulations, additionally strained by the weak infrastructure at key junctions, while being bounded by the acute pressure to complete crucial projects in a limited time-frame within highly specific budgets.

At the conference, HTOA celebrated the tough journey of digitalising the process of issuing and receiving permits to facilitate heavy cargo transportation through the launch of the online ODC portal. Seven years of effective functioning of the portal has made it easier for 55,000 ODC transporters to receive their permits, further easing out the hassles that make the process time-consuming, cumbersome and most importantly, draining monetarily. HTOA also announced their newly designed website to repurpose their existence and service offerings for stakeholders and staged a small launch session led by Nitin Gadkari.

As smooth collaboration among government authorities, private bodies and industry stakeholders is adequately required for a successful GDP growth rate, through harnessing the potentials and increased standardisation of systems and process, Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari highlighted the need for transparent, time-bound, result-oriented and corruption-free trade and transportation practices. Gadkari took into account the burning issues and challenges facing the industry and assured that the government is already building a system which adheres to this principles and working day in and day out to broaden the horizons.

In the task of fastening digitalisation to achieve utmost transparency and end-to-end visibility, NIC has significantly aided the government. As the subject of transport and gaining permits, comes under the concurrent list, any changes made need to be assented by the central and state governments, and for this, the linking up of information processed from the state governments and their RTO departments is highly instrumental. The Hon’ble Minister also claimed that the decentralisation of process which makes it inefficient is also a factor that introduces corruption into the system and expands the process timelines unnecessarily.

Importantly, the Minister underscored the need for switching paths and opting for ethanol, methanol, BioCNG, BioLNG, electric sources of power as well as Green Hydrogen. He said that such a conversion to alternative fuels by the companies from heavy industries in the usage and transport of construction equipment would not just add to cost-effectiveness but also to environment sustainability. He said the price for 1 kg of Green Hydrogen is currently Rs 70, and that with the increased usage of alternative fuels, the prices of these would reduce significantly.

Gadkari informed that India, today, has also embarked upon an innovative R&D journey that is actively investing upon making battery manufacturing technology sustainable for future uses. Now, instead of using conventional Lithium-ion batteies, Sodium and Zinc-ion batteries are being manufactured. A Faridabad Research Laboratory is opening up new futuristic lanes for technological development in the field of transport through Aluminium-ion batteries, he enlightened.

Now, trailer trucks are also being run on LNG and drivers are being trained in the same, so that the gaps that compel the truck drivers to work 24 hours here in India, contrary to the 8 and 12 hours shift of European countries and the US, are eradicated efficiently, the Minister further noted.

Green Express Highways with four-laned roads, bridges are being built with the capability of carrying heavy loads. Tunnels are also being built to transport heavy machinery from hilly areas, which is otherwise extremely challenging.

The road sector has made the usage of reusable precast concrete as a construction product, mandatory. AIG, according to Gadkari, has already initiated a scheme of 16,000 crores which will facilitate this recyclable and reusable molding of materials.

Besides this, the need to make the process of road construction corruption-free was also highlighted by the Minister. Last year, there were 500,000 accidents and 150,000 deaths caused by hazardous road accidents. The Tamil Nadu Government, Gadkari said, has already successfully implemented an experiment originally executed by World Bank, which has resulted in 50 per cent reduction of road accidents. Similar initiatives are being formulated and executed by the central Government as well to protect the precious lives of people, he said.

The event witnessed an elaborate address on an exhaustive list of challenges and problems that need urgent attention, for which the Union Minister finally requested HTOA to file and share their problems and queries, such that he can take them up with the CBI and other investigative authorities for an in-depth inquiry.

A need for both obeisance and fear for law when reinstated and reiterated, will only help India to be corruption-free, and successfully achieve the tag of “Atmanirbhar” with being s strong 5 trillion dollar economy.

Towards the end of the event, many dignified veterans and industry stakeholders were felicitated with awards and mementos for their persevering and diligent contributions since the Project Revolution in the early 80’s, despite all forms of disruptions. The list of veterans who were felicitated were Jahangir Parabia, Ramkala Gupta, Nilesh Patel, R C Kataria, V P Sekhri, Upvinder Singh, R P Shah, A M Mukherjee, Late Reshan Singh, and Late Raj Kumar Agarwal.

The companies that were awarded by HTOA included NTC Logistics, Globe Ecologistics, Decent Cargo Movers, Procam Logistics, Ganesh Roadlines, ODC Logistics, Kataria Carriers, Darshan Roadlines, J M Baxi Heavy, JSCC Logistics, Rameshwar Transport Company, Kataria Transport Services, Nabros Transport, JS Parabia, and Bhagyoday Transport Company.

Several partners and collaborators were also felicitated for their continued efforts in magnifying the needs, challenges and solutions introduced in the industry. CARGOCONNECT, the media partner for the event, was awarded for its loyalty and honesty in representing the sector through its powerful voice and sectoral analysis of trends and transformations for the greater good of the industry.

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