Private bus operators eating into RTC revenue

Highlights

Private Bus Operators Eating into RTC Revenue, Mahabubnagar Accident, Road Transport Authority. The Mahabubnagar accident and the subsequent raids by the Road Transport Authority (RTA) officials have exposed the looting by the private bus operators.

  • One registration, multiple vehicles
  • Single permit, multiple trips
  • Operating as stage carriers against rules
  • RTA officials’ support alleged

The Mahabubnagar accident and the subsequent raids by the Road Transport Authority (RTA) officials have exposed the looting by the private bus operators – travel agencies – in the State, which have been robbing the revenue of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC).

The private bus operators, who are expected to ply their services only for the tourists and select (homogeneous) groups have been violating the rules with the connivance of the RTA officials and the absolute silence maintained by the RTC senior bosses. The travels are expected to carry homogeneous groups from a specified place to a select destination. It is for this purpose, they obtain permit from the RTA by paying the taxes specified for the purpose. However, they have been operating as stage carriers by entertaining commuters to board and alight at different places along the route like the RTC services.

The recent raids on these vehicles found that several of them are on the road without permits, not paying taxes and without having other proper documents, safety measures. Interestingly, there are also cases where these travel agencies obtain permit district, two districts, State and national permits. In most cases, the travels secure permit for just two districts by paying the required taxes which is valid for one week, continue the operations to several other districts for several months. There are not many cases where the travels obtain temporary permit (TP) to operate the bus in more districts if the vehicle has permit for the two districts.

The buses which take State permit which is valid for three months are expected to pay Rs 2625 per seat in the bus. The travel agencies were expected to renew the permit every three months paying the required taxes. However, to avoid this payment, some of them take temporary permit and pay just Rs 1210 per seat against Rs 2625. Though the TPs are not valid for regular operations, the private travels enjoy on the road without paying the taxes, thanks to the helping officials on the road.

The vehicles having tourist permit can be operated anywhere in the country for one week and they have to renew the permit paying the required fee. The buses operated to Chennai, Bengalore and other places in the nieghbouring use these permits. Shockingly, not many of these buses have renewed tourist permits. It is alleged that the travel agencies use one permit for months together and renew it only whenever the officials insist on for their own performance sheet.

The leading travel agencies have been exploiting the profitable routes like Vijayawada-Hyderabad, Vijayawada- Chennai, Vijayawada-Bengalore, Hyderabad-Bengalore, Hyderabad-Chennai and Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam. Though technically they are not allowed to ply their services on these routes with the permits that they have, there are no inspections from the RTA and there are no complaints from the RTC, which has become a boon for the private travel agencies.

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