Private buses continue to carry commercial luggage despite raids

Private buses continue to carry commercial luggage despite raids

Checkings, drives by transport department have little impact

Private buses continue to carry commercial luggage despite raids

 Even as the Transport department is making efforts to contain overloading of commercial vehicles and illegal carrying of commercial luggage in private buses, the malpractices continue unabated.

The transport department officials on Thursday claimed that since October 1 to 25, there has been regular checkings throughout the State and especially on the four checkposts of Bagewadi in Belgaum, Koppal, Mangalore and Tumkur.

In all, 82,000 vehicles were checked and 820 vehicles seized and the department also earned a penalty of Rs 70 lakh from over 500 vehicles found violating the norms on carrying load. This was stated in a report submitted to the Lokayukta on Thursday.

Speaking with Deccan Herald, Transport Commissioner Ramegowda said: “We have been conducting regular drives both for commercial vehicles and private buses despite so many holidays during the festival season. We are making all out efforts to curb the malpractices,” he added. 

On the other hand, B Channa Reddy, president of Federation of Karnartaka Lorry Owners Association (FOKLOA), said: “We have been campaigning against  overloading of lorries and the alleged connivance between the RTO inspectors and the police. We are in fact whistleblowers in this matter. As citizens, if we witness some violation happening around us, why should we not report about it,” he added.

The private buses continue to flout the Central Motor Vehicle Act with impunity by carrying commercial luggage atop the vehicles. 

During the drive conducted during the festival, 98 buses were seized. Many of the buses are still in the custody of transport department after the operators did not come forward to pay the penalty and get the buses released.

Commuters shocked

“I was recently travelling in a private bus from Bangalore to Davangere and was shocked to see that the bus operator was busy loading commercial luggage atop the bus. The luggage was approximately 2 feet above the bus. In spite of strict prohibition to carry commercial luggage in private passenger buses, the operators are boldly violating the norms,” said advocate Uday Kumar Singh, a resident of the City.

Speaking with Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity, a manager of a private bus operator in the City with over 100 luxury buses in his fleet, said it is very difficult for them to make their ends meet only by the passengers’ fares as they have to make payments to several authorities from top to bottom.

He added that it is a common sight around Anand Rao Circle late in the night when the private bus operators are loading the buses with commercial luggage and the authorities are in the know of it for many years now.