The Regional Transport Officials have begun a crackdown on private buses that are plying illegally in the district. On Friday, the licence of a private bus, that was running on the Aluva- Fort Kochi route, was suspended after it was found that the bus did not hold a permit from the Regional Transport Office.

Ernakulam RTO B J Antony said the bus had earlier possessed a temporary permit which had been suspended since July 3. “The owners of the bus did not renew the licence or give application for the same. We seized the bus on Friday and have issued a notice to the owner in this regard,” Antony said. A few days ago, the RTO office at Perumbavoor had suspended the permits of two long-distance private vehicles plying through the nationalised routes in the district.

As per norms, the nationalised routes are earmarked only for KSRTC buses and no private buses are allowed to use the route. “We suspended the permits of the buses following complaints from KSRTC officials at Perumbavoor.

One of the buses that was plying between Pathanamthitta and Kasargod was using the nationalised route at Perumbavoor,” the officials at Perumbavoor RTO office said. Similarly, a private bus was caught plying illegally through the Aluva-Angamaly route the other day. “Even if a bus uses these routes, passengers don’t bring this to the notice of the authorities since they can reach their destination faster. However, this causes a huge loss for KSRTC.

Most of the long-distance private buses which ply on the Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha and Aluva routes take unauthorised routes or lack proper permits. Unless, we bring this to the notice of the authorities, they don’t take any action,” said Perumbavoor KSRTC Assistant Transport Officer C Venugopal. Sources with the RTO office at Ernakulam admitted that long-distance private buses plying in the district during late hours flout rules. “Most of them plying between Aluva to Thrissur or Kozhikode use the National Highway-47 which is an unauthorized route for them. However, since these vehicles ply during night, we find it hard to nab the offenders,” official source said.

He added that, however, the permits of two to three private buses are cancelled every month owing to several reasons. Illegal Stage Carriers Rampant RTO B J Antony said illegal ‘stage carriers’, (private buses being used for taking people for marriages or funerals) are quite high both in the city and suburbs. “Every month, we detain nearly five such private vehicles which ply without special permit. If the owner of the private bus wishes to ply as a carriage for a marriage or a funeral, he has to avail a special permit from the RTO office, even if it is for a day. However, most of the time, they don’t take special permits owing to the formalities and the extra cash,” Antony added.

Source: New Indian Express