Intercity bus transportation which is a prime mode of transportation for public is one of the unorganised sector which badly needs a help from authorities. The Industry has already lot of issues with respect to permits, taxes, RTO’s and now recently, to add a salt to wound, some of the states like Arunchal Pradesh has cancelled the permits which it has issued in past.
Unlike a Stage carriage permit or tourist bus permit, Intercity buses doesn’t have an organised way of getting permits. Usual procedure is operators takes a tourist bus permit in one state and use them for Intercity application. While they get a permit in one state, they operate in other states by paying entry tax in respective locations. Since sleeper buses can’t be registered in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala so long many were registering their buses in states like Pondichery, Karnatka and paying entry tax in states where they wish to operate. The permits are issued under a rule that these buses needs to touch the home state during the operation.
But there are few operators register their buses in north east states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nahaland and Assam and ply in southern states. This brings a huge question of how come these buses enter these during every trip. Ideally as per rule, the buses should pass through the state where they are registered. But practically they don’t go and infact they don’t even go there for registration. Its that easy, that one can register a bus sitting in Hyderabad or Bangalore. The prime reason for operators preferring North Eastern states is the lower home tax less than 20 thousand to nearly 2 lks in Karnataka and Pondicherry. This is happening for past many years and now Arunachal Pradesh Govt. has cancelled all the permits issued in favor of these sleeper / seater buses.
CV News accessed the order copy released in 6th of June. According to information, Arunachal Pradesh Transport Commissioner has informed all the DTOs to cancel the registration of tourist buses/sleeper coaches in Arunachal that are operating their vehicles in other states (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) in violation of the Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Act, 1986 and Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1989.
In a second letter, he also ordered the cancellation of national permits to such vehicles. The registration of the vehicles had been done without physical inspection as mandated under Section 44 of the CMV Act, 1988 besides violation of the norm that insisted on verification of the address as required under Section 40 of the CMV Act, 1988 and Rule 47, 1989, and prescribed dimensions of the motor vehicles under the CMTV Rule 93 and 128, 1989.
District Transport Officers have been instructed immediately to cancel the registrations of such tourist/sleeper vehicles in their jurisdictions and direct their owners to report these vehicles to the nearest police stations.
It may be recalled that Mr. Keseneni Srinivas, Director of Keseneni Travels and Telugu Desam Party MP, stopped his services, citing Corrupt practices of transport authorities in AP and TS recently during first week of April. Recently a bus registered in Arunachal Pradesh met with an accident in Krishna district. Nani allegedly wrote to Arunachal Pradesh Transport commissioner with the details of the incident.
Subsequent to a written complaint against the illegal operations, permits issued by Arunchal Pradesh, for these sleeper buses are now cancelled. Though the actual figures aren’t known, its understood that as many as 2400 permits would have been cancelled across KA, TN, KL, and the most affected will be operators from AP and TS accounting to around 900 buses.
Since the registration is cancelled, these buses needs to re registered in other states and continue to operate. But this is not an easy work as many operators would have already paid taxes for the particular bus in the locations they wanted to operate. By registering, these taxes can’t be transferred. Similarly schedules are likely to get disrupt for couple of weeks. Also if NL, OD follows the same patterns of what Arunachal Pradesh has done, this is going to create havoc. The right way forward is to legalise these buses, and to issue permits in the respective states as any way the CMVR currently has provision to register sleeper buses and now it must be implemented.