BENGALURU: While private vans which often run in violation of law are causing a considerable revenue loss to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has come up with a draft notification allowing private luxury buses to ply within the city limits. The move could pose further problems to the corporation which is currently running under losses.
According to the draft notification, the usual stage carrier permit is not required for operating air-conditioned deluxe buses, having a carrying capacity of more than 22 passengers in Indian cities.
If this materialises, it will pose an additional challenge to the BMCT.
In Bengaluru, IT firms rely on private vehicles to pick up and drop their employees. While it had earlier attracted criticism that the vehicles occupy a lot of road space, several other commuters also rely on them.
“Tempo Travellers on contract with IT companies use their return trip after dropping off employees to make some money. But it is illegal as there is no provision under the law,” Hemanth Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Transport and Secretary, said.But many commuters find them good enough.
“They are helping in transporting a lot of commuters at a faster pace. These tempos (vans) can move quickly in traffic and are cheaper too,” said a commuter at Marathahalli. Private vans have also been operating at Ramakrishna Ashrama bus stop on Kathriguppe-Banashankari route.
“If BMTC was efficient, why would people take private vehicles? Why not make it official by giving them permits?” a commuter said.
“We are constantly conducting drives along with RTO officials and seize such vehicles. They are illegal and impact our revenue. BMTC buses are safer,” said BMTC managing director C Shikha. Only BMTC buses are allowed to operate within city.