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Punjab all set to cancel 680 bus permits

Sources said the transport department had issued speaking 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 view of the Patiala Bus Terminal (Express photo)

Punjab transport department is set to cancel as many as 680 illegal extensions in bus permits in compliance with Punjab and Haryana High Court orders dating way back to 2012. The verdicts were subsequently upheld in 2018 and earlier this year.

Sources said the transport department had issued speaking 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 40000 km and its aides on another more than 20000 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, thus grossly tweaking the original route permit.

In 2012, after a private bus company approached the court against a proviso in 2011 transport scheme notified by the then government in Punjab, 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 the SAD-BJP alliance government led by Akali patriarch and then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was in power and which had empowered extension of the operation of existing permits to an unlimited extent.

Punjab transport minister Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, when contacted on Monday confirmed that speaking orders had been issued to cancel the illegal extensions in the permit. “No violation of norms will be allowed in the transport sector.

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