Amid the continued suspension of inter-state bus services in Delhi, the enforcement wing of the Transport Department has impounded 133 private sleeper buses illegally ferrying passengers to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan over the last one week.
The enforcement wing of the Transport Department acted after receiving reports that a few private operators were exploiting the opportunity created by the shutdown of the inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs), which are unlikely to reopen soon as no state, apart from Rajasthan, is willing to resume services to Delhi in view of the city’s high Covid load.
The three ISBTs in Delhi – Anand Vihar, Sarai Kale Khan and Kashmere Gate – had shut down on March 21. Over 3,500 buses used to operate from these facilities to states such as UP, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh before the lockdown.
“It was noted that after unlockdown, some private operators started plying their contract carriage buses to ferry passengers to other states, particularly UP and Rajasthan. The enforcement branch of the Transport Department seized many sleeper coaches during a week-long drive. Out of 133 buses, 23 are registered in Rajasthan, 92 in UP and seven in Bihar,” said a memo signed by Special Commissioner (Transport) K K Dahiya.
The transport authorities of the respective states have been requested to cancel the permits of the violators, the memo said. Around 20 teams have been deployed by the department to catch such violators, Dahiya also wrote.
A senior government official said that while Delhi was willing to open the ISBTs, enforcing full social distancing norms, other states have not shown much interest so far.
“Only Rajasthan is willing to restart services. Maximum number of inter-state buses are destined for UP and Haryana in Delhi’s case. But none of the two states has shown any interest in resuming services. Allowing only one state will lead to overcrowding. The Delhi government is currently awaiting nod from at least three states to reopen the ISBTs,” the official said.
Under Unlock 2.0, people are free to travel across state borders, without any passes.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines