Transporters not to run old vehicles in Kolkata from Saturday

Parked trucks as their drivers participate in 24-hour strike to protest against Calcutta High Court order of banning commercial vehicles older than 15 years from August 1, in Birbhum district on Friday. PTI

"We've decided not to run commercial vehicles more than 15 years old in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area from Aug 1," said Swarnakamal Saha of the Kolkata Metropolitian Bus and Mini Bus Owners Association.

"We'll only withdraw 15-year old commercial vehicles but other vehicles will ply," he said.
Meanwhile, transport department sources said the government was ready to ban vehicles over 15 years old from Aug 1.

"Transport department officials, police and motor vehicles department officers will carry out the operations all across Kolkata Metropolitan Area to ban these old vehicles. We have also decided to run commercial vehicles through government franchise if the operators decide to go on strike," said Sumantra Chowdhury, principal secretary of the state transport department.

The Calcutta High Court in July 2008 ordered a ban on commercial vehicles registered before Jan 1, 1993 from Kolkata and its outskirts. It said the order should be implemented by Dec 31, 2008 in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, which includes parts of North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly districts.

Later, the date for imposing the ban was put off till July 31, 2009, following a government plea. The government decided to phase out old vehicles from July 25 to implement the court order.

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