Permit violations by private buses go on unchecked in state

Contract carriages plying as stage carriers: Uplalokayukta report

Permit violations by private  buses go on unchecked in state

 Illegally operated private buses cause frequent traffic jams, especially during peak hours, in Gandhinagar and other parts of Bengaluru.

A report to the Transport Department from the office of the Upalokayukta has revealed that of the 13,600 private buses, around 1,900 contract carriage buses and 2,700 all India permit buses are violating Motor Vehicles Rules.

In the report, sent under section 12 (1) of the Lokayukta Act, the Lokayukta has directed the Transport Department to stop private bus operators from carrying passengers in violation of Motor Vehicle Rules.

The enquiry was conducted based on a complaint stating that state transport authorities were issuing transport permits and licences in contravention of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The complaint referred to several examples of accidents caused by private transport vehicles plying without valid permits.

One of the important parts of the enquiry was about the difference between the two types of permits; the contract carriage and the stage carriage. Transport officials clarified that several private buses with contract carriage permits were picking up passengers en-route in violation of the rules.

“During the enquiry, it was noticed that there were several violations of permits and provisions of law by private transport operators and some operators are involved in repeat violations. In the statement, transport authorities admitted that several contract carriage buses are illegally operating as stage carriage buses. In addition, such buses operate as goods transport vehicles by carrying huge quantities of luggage,” an official said.

The passengers have a common destination in a contract carriage, whereas a stage carriage is to meet the requirements of the general traveling public who pay the fare for the distance they propose to travel.

Huge losses  
Interestingly, the state-run KSRTC and other state transport corporations (NEKRTC, NWKRTC and BMTC) filed their statements stating that illegal operations of private buses have caused huge losses to state corporations. State transport corporations provided the list of private operators and their booking offices.

“Private vehicles engaged in passenger transportation at various junctions is common in Bengaluru and other cities. The transport department has provided the list of thousands of private buses between several cities and Bengaluru which openly book tickets despite having contract carriage permits,” the official said.

Staff shortage
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said, “The department is facing severe staff crunch. We have just 350 inspectors who have to manage all checkposts and RTO offices. We are aware of this situation and have recruited 150 more inspectors last year. Private buses are operating in violation of rules and we have been imposing penalties.
“However, the penalty is as meagre as Rs 1,000 to
Rs 2,000. They pay the penalty and get back to the same business. We will slap huge penalties as per the new guidelines issued by the Union government. We will certainly implement the directions issued by the Upalokayukta.”
DH News Service

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