Private bus operators, whose buses are being seized by transport officials for plying them as stage carriages, have said they are ready to abide by the rules framed by the RTA officials, and lamented action being taken against them.
Members of the AP Private Bus Owners Association, most of whom own a few buses each, said at a press conference on Sunday that they buy buses by taking huge loans from finance companies. “Now we are not able to pay EMIs and facing a tough time from the lenders,” said V Mouli, a bus operator. “There is a provision to get permit by paying `893 tax, which allows plying of buses throughout India. RTA officials know this. Then, why are they collecting `2,626 for state permit and `3,750 for all-India permit? RTA officials must give clarity on this,” said H Subhash Chandra Bose, president of the association. The situation has worsened in the last six months as the operators are not able to ply buses, Bose said. “Operators are not able to repay loans. We are being served criminal notices too,” he said.
Around 25,000 people depend on private bus operations for their livelihood. They too are facing a tough time, said Bose, adding if the officials do not support them, the private bus industry will be shut down.