Punjab Transport Department to serve notices on ‘erring’ bus operators - ECAS Punjab

Punjab Transport Department to serve notices on ‘erring’ bus operators

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 2

More than two years after a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court paved the way for launching a crackdown on operators running buses on illegally extended permits, the state Transport Department will now start issuing notices to errant private bus operators.

Notices have been prepared against 230 bus operators, including bus companies owned by members of the Badal family, by the office of the Advocate General, Punjab, and sent to the office of state Transport Commissioner, who is to now serve the notices. State Transport Commissioner Dr Amarpal said they had received the notices and would be serving these to the errant operators.

Last year, notices were reportedly issued to 140 private bus operators, seeking their reply on how they got extensions in the original bus route permits, beyond the 24 km allowed under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Under the Act, a single extension of 24 km is permitted in the original bus route. This provision was allegedly flouted during the previous Akali-BJP regime, and many private bus operators got two to three extensions in the original bus route permits, which were allowed in the Transport Policy of 2011. Since 2011, as many as 6,700 route permit extensions have been given.

The Congress government had promised to cancel these illegalities in permits when it came to power in 2017. A new transport policy was also brought in by the government, which besides making these extensions illegal, had also announced that diversions and curtailment of routes and increase and decrease in trips were illegal.

Strangely, the department stopped issuing notices to private bus operators last year after two of them approached the High Court, which granted a stay in their favour. There was no stay on issuing the notices to other operators, but the exercise was stopped midway, said a senior official.



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