New Delhi: A key bill to regulate and fix the liability of goods carriers by road, including agents and courier agencies, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 7 September.
The Carriage by Road Bill, 2005, which seeks to repeal the original Act of 1865, was passed without discussion amidst uproar over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The proposed legislation will make it mandatory for ‘common carriers’ to register with the state or regional transport authority. Failure to do so will attract penal action. Carriage of hazardous and dangerous goods would also be regulated.
The legislation will cover the entire chain of intermediaries engaged in the transport of goods by road, including brokers, contractors, agents and courier agencies.
The liability of the common carriers for loss of, or damage to any consignment, will be limited to Rs10,000.
Besides carriers, the proposed law would also put onus on the consignee if he fails to take delivery of the goods within 30 days of receiving information of their arrival.
The bill also seeks to build a reliable data base of the goods carried by the road transport business.