The Delhi government last week challaned eight luxury buses owned by Punjab’s ruling Akali Dal leaders — the Badals — from IGI Airport for flouting permit conditions, said officials.
The move raised eyebrows, with the AAP locking horns with the Badals in the run-up to the Punjab assembly polls due next year.
The Delhi government’s transport department acting on a complaint from AAP’s Bijwasan MLA, Col. Devinder Sehrawat, and taxi operators at theinternational terminal seized the eight buses in the last two weeks for violating permit conditions.
Special Commissioner of Transport K K Dahiya said, “The buses, registered as contract carriages were operating as stage carriages, picking and dropping passengers randomly, while they are only allowed to offer point-to-point services. We found that the luxury bus service was operating out of a kiosk inside the airport. We took strict action against the Indo-Canadian Transport Company, which operates these buses.”
The Indo-Canadian Transport Company, owned by the Badals has been operating on the route from IGI Airport to Jalandhar, a route which costs the state government’s bus services crores worth in losses, said sources. This led to the state government’s bus services being branded “non-viable” last year, the sources added.
The luxury buses, with prices of tickets ranging between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,800, is popular among NRIs from the Doaba region who land at the airport, said sources.
Over 10 such luxury buses operate on the route daily during peak seasons.
The Indo-Canadian Transport Company got their buses released from the transport department after paying a fine in court, said government officials. The AAP has been campaigning aggressively in Punjab against the ruling SAD-BJP combine led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.