The accident involving a Volvo bus that charred 45 people to death, has brought into focus illegal operations of buses that have a contract carriage licence, but operate as stage carriers.
Two days after the Hyderabad-bound bus caught fire, Transport Commissioner K Amar Narayan is still ‘investigating’ whether the bus had the correct permits to be operated as a stage carriage. However, the permit, of which Express has a copy, says that the bus cannot be used as a stage carriage. Stage carriage buses are the only ones allowed to issue tickets to passengers. Contract carriages, on the other hand, are hired by one single group.
Although the city sees numerous such violations, the state transport department seems helpless in curbing the problem.
A senior source in the ministry said, “There are numerous violations and the transport department is acting on it. However, this is difficult because of the lobbying involved.”
In May this year, P Ravi Kumar, Principal Secretary, Transport Department, had issued a circular instructing transport officials to conduct regular checks on buses. Although the circular was issued in May, the permit of the bus that went ablaze had a contract carriage licence.