HYDERABAD: Ten days after Arunachal Pradesh Road Transport Authority (RTA) cancelled the registration of tourist buses operating illegally out of the state, Telangana government on Tuesday decided to act against tourist buses registered in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry and operating in the state illegally.
A similar crackdown is going on in Andhra Pradesh where RTA officials were asked to seize buses registered in Arunachal Pradesh plying in that state. Transport minister P Mahender Reddy instructed RTA officials to seize tourist buses registered in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry, if they are found operating in TS. The minister ordered TSRTC to step in and provide assistance to commuters affected by this decision.
However, TS RTA officials are clueless about what the Arunachal Pradesh RTA’s order entailed as they haven’t received any official notification. While RTA has no official count of Arunachal Pradesh-registered buses plying in TS, bus operators have put the figure close to 1,000.
“Once an order is issued it has to go to all the District Transport Offices (DTOs), then they will issue a notice to the owners and only then will they cancel the registration. Only after the AP RTA gives us details on how many such vehicles are plying in Telangana can we take action. We have contacted them and are awaiting a response,” said T Raghunath, Joint Transport Commissioner, RTA.
On Tuesday, Orange Group of Units founded by M Sunil Kumar, obtained a stay order from Gauhati HC, Assam. Though the All India permit of the vehicles stand cancelled, the court has stayed registration cancellations until June 30. The court has directed AP RTA to formally inform owners of such vehicles within three days.
“In TS and AP combined, there are close to 900 to 1,000 such buses. They are illegal as they do not comply with seating regulations and have gotten registration without getting the vehicle checked with Arunachal Pradesh RTA,” said Khursheed, president, Bus Operators Association. The vehicles have gotten All India Permits despite being sleeper buses which makes them illegal.