Over 80 Tipper drivers in Aduku Town Council, Kwania district are protesting against a proposal by town authorities to relocate them to the town’s newly gazetted Taxi and Bus Park.
During an October 21, 2020 meeting, Council authorities resolved to relocate all Tipper drivers operating within the town to the newly gazetted Taxi / Bus Park situated on Kwania Road, effective November 18, 2020 in a bid to enhance local revenue collection.
It was further resolved that any driver who defied the directive would pay a Shs 100,000 fine.
However, a group of Tipper drivers, under Aduku Transporters and Tipper Drivers’ Association, have protested the move citing limited business opportunities in the new taxi park.
They claim that putting them together with buses and Taxis operators would subject them to losses given the nature of their operations.
Moses Omal, the Chairperson Aduku Tipper Drivers’ Association, says the newly designated Taxi Park is inadequate to accommodate many vehicles since part of it is occupied by trailers. He asked the Town Council authorities to allocate them an independent space where they can operate from.
Sam Okwele, agrees, arguing that relocating them to the new Taxi Park will not only affect their business but also expose them to accidents.
“I have never seen any town putting Tipper drivers together with Taxi and bus operators. We shall not go as demanded by the town authorities. If they want to keep us in business then we should be placed in a separate area,’’ Okwele said..
Keny James Obaya, the Town Clerk, Aduku Town Council, says the move to relocate Tipper drivers is meant to reduce road accidents and boost local revenue collection.
Obaya notes that due to the numerous stopovers along major highways, revenue collection has dwindled over the last ten years since the Town Council became operational.
The Town Council authorities expect to collect Shs 18m monthly if all vehicles operate from the taxi park, a move they say will greatly improve service delivery.
Harriet Ogam, the Northern Uganda Station Engineer for Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), justified the proposed relocation, saying the practice of parking along the Main Street for passengers to alight is risky.
“Those Tipper drivers are illegally operating on our Apac-Lira Highway. We shall write to the Town Council authorities to get an alternative place to accommodate all these road side stages,” she said in a telephone interview.
Currently, transporters operate at Aduku Mayor’s garden, UCC Aduku-Apire road and near Yellow Pages-along Apac-Lira Highway.
However, Aduku Town Council LC III Chairperson, Rolex Oyari, urged the Tipper drivers to vacate their respective stages and move to the temporary gazetted park.
“Whoever does not comply will face the law,” he said.
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