EC faces vehicle shortage as pvt players protest low fares

EC faces vehicle shortage as pvt players protest low fares

EC faces vehicle shortage as pvt players protest low fares

The Election Commission faces a shortage of about 40,000 vehicles as private transporters have decided not to offer their vehicles, in protest against the "unscientific prices" offered by the poll authority.

An election official said the Commission needs about 8,000 buses to transport electronic voting machines, 80,000 vehicles for 1,344 flying squads, 1,255 vigilance squads, besides thousands of CRPF and police personnel.

With the poll being held in single phase, transportation arrangements at various taluks and district centres are required simultaneously on May 11 and 12. The stance of private vehicle owners has now put the poll panel under stress with authorities suggesting the Transport department to settle the issue amicably.

"The commission hires our vehicles during every election but doesn't pay the price we quote. They impose terms and conditions and take away the vehicles. This time, we won't change our stand till they respond to our demand," said Karnataka Tourist Private Transport Vehicles' Owners' Association president Bhairav Siddaramu.

He said the poll panel has already held a meeting with them and the second round of talks will happen soon. "We trusted the commission officials last time and had to run from pillar to post to get the money," he said.

Siddaramu said during the BBMP election, the private transporters received 50% of the vehicle rent in advance. "We want the EC to give 75% of the rent in advance," he said.

Tepid response to tender

The election officials of Chikkaballapur and Bengaluru Rural districts had called tenders for hiring private vehicles at the rates fixed by the EC. Officials said they are yet to receive any response from private vehicle owners.

"Vehicle owners are under stress due to the rising taxes and fuel prices. We had requested the officials to increase the rent. But they impose conditions such as - owners have to take care of fuel, drivers' allowance and maintenance - even though the vehicle is used for 24 hours. They have to relook into these issues," Siddaramu said.

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