October 27, 2021 7:03:14 am
Punjab transport department has set the ball rolling for cancelling 680 illegal extensions granted to bus permits. The extensions will be canceled in compliance with Punjab and Haryana High Court order dating to 2012, which were subsequently upheld in 2018 and earlier this year as the court decided the litigations in the matter.
Sources said transport department had issued oral orders to cancel the illegal extensions where transport companies get a week’s time to submit an appeal against, if any, before their illegally plying buses are impounded.
A government functionary said, the buses were plied in illegal manner on one lakh kilometers, out of which a politically influential family into transport business in Punjab alone was running buses
in “violation of norms” on 40,000 km and its associates on another more than 20,000 km.
Under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, a single extension of 24 km is permitted in the original route permit. The provision was flouted with impunity and scores of private bus operators managed to get extensions, tweaking the original route permit.
In 2012, after a private bus company approached it against a proviso in 2011 transport scheme notified by the then state government, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the cancellation of all route extensions to private bus operators, over the single 24-km extension permitted under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
The court struck down a provision in the Transport Scheme (policy) notified in December 2011 when SAD-BJP alliance government led by Parkash Singh Badal was in power and which had empowered extension of operation of existing permits to an unlimited extent.
Punjab transport minister Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, when contacted, confirmed that oral orders had been issued to cancel the illegal extensions in permit. “No violation of norms will be allowed in the transport sector.
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