An awareness campaign to educate truck drivers not to carry loads exceeding heights of 13 feet has been launched by the Kachin State government.
Police officer Soe Naing Tun, of Waingmaw Township, told KNG that although the law states that drivers can only transport loads of up to 12 ft they’re tolerating 13 ft. He said commercial drivers will receive fines for loads over 13 ft after the week-long campaign ends.
Ko Aung Si, who drives a truck for his job, told KNG it would be better if the authorities make sure companies follow the regulations rather than put all of the onus on the drivers, pointing out they’re not always the ones loading the vehicles they drive.
Many trucks are transporting loads of banana tissue culture from heights of up to 15 ft for sale to Chinese companies.
In October, the number of trucks transporting the produce in Kachin State increased to 700 compared to 200 vehicles in late April. Of these, 400 trucks are operated by Burmese drivers and 300 by drivers from China.
Banana tissue culture farms have been in operation in the state for over a decade. There are farms in Waingmaw, Bhamo, Moemauk, and Dot Hpong Yang areas. The Kachin State government hasn’t released data about how much land is being used for growing banana tissue culture. But civil society organizations estimate it’s more than 100,000 acres.