‘Private Transporters Plying Without Permits’
BANGALORE: Private transporters are up in arms against the Transport Department’s recent drive against those violating permit rules. In turn, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has accused private transporters of plying without valid permits and thereby causing huge losses to the transport utility.
The Upa Lokayukta has now taken up a case based on a complaint accusing private operators of violating permit norms and causing huge losses to the KSRTC.
The complaint, filed by one Shamanna, alleges that the Transport Department is working hand-in-glove with private transporters.
At the hearing on Monday, KSRTC officials said the Transport Department should take action against private buses which have a contract carriage permit but operate like stage carriages. A contract carriage is supposed to travel from one point to another without any stops, while a stage carriage is meant to travel on a fixed route with fixed stops by collecting fares from passengers.
Managing Directors of the KSRTC and the NWKSRTC said that due to these illegal operations by private transporters, the corporation is suffering huge losses.
They said contract carriage buses cannot pick up passengers like stage carriage buses.
The complainant alleged that since private transporters also carry huge quantities of luggage on top of the buses, passenger safety had been compromised.
Transport Commissioner K Amaranarayana told Express that the department’s enforcement cell has been taking up cases.
“Though we are short-staffed, we have inspected 13,589 buses across the state up to April this year and booked 585 cases of permit violations, besides others. We have collected fines and taxes close to `95 lakh this year. The drive against violation of permit rules will continue. However, we will also wait for the Upa Lokayukta’s directions on this complaint,” he said.
Contention of Pvt Bus Operators
More than 70 representatives of private operators, including Durgamba, SRS Travels and VRL Travels, through their advocates, submitted that by way of picking up passengers, they were not violating contract carriage permit rules.
“There were several private transporters who submitted before the Upa Lokayukta. Some of us who run long route night buses submitted that there was no violation by picking up passengers before leaving the starting point in a contract carriage. For example, a Mangalore-bound night buses doesn’t stop anywhere in between after passing Bangalore city and these buses are not boarded by other passengers in between. We are operating just the way KSRTC night buses operate. We will also submit in the next hearing how KSRTC buses ply without any permit,” Sadananda Chatra, General Secretary, Karnataka State Tourist Bus Operators Association, told Express.
Next Hearing on June 10
Upa Lokayukta Justice Subash B Adi said a few operators had have sought more time to submit additional documents related to the rules and permits.
The next hearing of the case has been posted to June 10.
what is a contract carriage?
Section 2(7) of the Motor Vehicles Act defines a contract carriage as a motor vehicle which carries a passenger or passengers for hire or reward and is engaged under a contract, whether expressed or implied, for the use of such vehicle as a whole for the carriage of passengers mentioned therein and entered into by a person with a holder of a permit in relation to such vehicle or any person authorised by him in this behalf on a fixed or an agreed rate or sum.