VELLORE: Two buses belonging to the Salem region of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation were denied permission to pass through the toll plaza at Pallikonda along the Krishnagiri-Walajapet section on the National Highway-46 on Thursday, for exceeding the number of trips as per the monthly pass tariff.
The passengers were forced to alight from the buses plying to Salem from Vellore. They had to take other buses to reach their destinations. The incident created a flutter among the passengers. The two buses were not allowed to pass through the toll plaza for nearly an hour from around 7 am.
Officials in the toll plaza manned by the L&T said the two buses bound for Salem were stopped at 7.30 am, for exceeding their monthly trip limits. The Salem division of the TNSTC had been operating the buses after obtaining the monthly passes (for 50 trips) by paying `8,350 each. “We stopped the buses as they were being operated beyond the permitted number of trips,” said a source in the plaza.
The PUG Audit conducted an audit in the month of April this year and submitted a report to the Central government that the government had been incurring a loss of `9 crore per month due to the failure in implementing the 2008 tolling policy laid down by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), said the official.
“We have been strictly told to adhere to the NHAI’s policy,” said the official.
The private bus operators said the new tariff policy limited the trips and forced many operators to cut down on trips. “The public is ultimately suffering as we have reduced the number of trips covering several villages,” said a private bus operator.