Arunachal Pradesh Transport Commissioner B. Siram, in a letter addressed to all district transport officers in that State, has asked them to cancel the registration of tourist buses/sleeper coaches.V. RajuV_RAJU
Move will dent RTC exchequer, but officials say the gap will be filled
The vexatious issue of private travel agencies operating vehicles in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in gross violation of rules after acquiring national permits from north-eastern States like Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland has taken a twist with the Arunachal Pradesh government cracking the whip on the erring transport operators.
Transport Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh B. Siram, in a letter addressed to all the District Transport Officers in that State, has asked them to cancel the registrations of all tourist buses/sleeper coaches registered in Arunachal Pradesh but are operating their vehicles in other States (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) in violation of the Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Act 1986 and Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1989.
In a second letter, he has also ordered cancellation of national permits to such vehicles.
He has said it is found that registration of the vehicles has been done without physical inspection as mandated under Section 44 of the CMV Act 1988 besides violation of the norm that insists on verification of the address as required under Section 40 of the CMV Act 1988 and Rule 47 of the CMV Rules 1989 and prescribed dimensions and specifications of the motor vehicles under Rule 93 and Rule 128 of the CMV Rule 1989.
The District Transport Officers have been directed to immediately cancel registrations of such tourist/sleeper vehicles in their respective jurisdictions and direct their owners to report these vehicles to the nearest police stations.
The move will affect hundreds of private travel buses (unconfirmed reports put the number at nearly 900 buses) from A.P. and Telangana, who have been illegally operating from here, thus causing a huge dent in the exchequer of the A.P. State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC).
Dodging the rulebook, these tourist buses with registration numbers belonging to Arunachal Pradesh have been operating here as stage carriages. There is also a clause that stipulates that the buses must touch their home state where they are registered either by starting their journey from there or by ending it there, which is not being followed.
When contacted, Joint Transport Commissioner (IT) L.S. Ramasree has said the department has not received any information in this regard so far.
Officials in the transport wing are divided on the ramifications of the move. A few believe that it would throw the local transport sector into a turmoil causing heavy inconvenience to the public at large. But APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director M. Malakondaiah has said the public transport organisation is capable of filling the gap.
Hailing the Arunachal government decision as a move in the right direction, APSRTC Employees’ Union leaders have said this will pave the way for the public sector transport to increase its patronage and wriggle out of the serious financial crisis it has been facing.
P. Sujatha Varma The Hindu