HC pulls up govt for failing to stop operations of pvt buses
Mumbai : The Bombay High Court today came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for failing to put an end to operations of private luxury buses and vehicles ferrying passengers without requisite permit, thereby causing huge losses to Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).
“There is gross violation of law right under the nose of the state machinery which has caused loss to MSRTC. Each day the MSRTC is losing Rs 20 crore because of private bus operators and vehicles plying passengers from outside ST bus stands and bus stops without requisite permit and license,” a division bench of Justices, N H Patil and S B Shukre, said.
The bench directed the government to initiate disciplinary inquiry against the district RTO officers who have failed to take action against such buses.
The court gave the direction while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Datta Mane which stated that in 2001 the Aurangabad bench of the high court had passed an order directing action against illegal private operators yet no action has been taken.
“The MSRTC has submitted information to the government about such operators but still no steps have been taken. How can you (government) knowingly permit this illegality and let MSRTC run into losses. Tomorrow the government will say since the MSRTC is into losses it needs to be shut down,” the court said.
The court added that if the government has a plan to privatise the transport section, then it should come out with a policy soon.
The petition alleged that in rural areas private jeeps and mini buses operate thereby eating into the business of MSRTC. These private illegal operators park their vehicles near stops earmarked for ST buses which is not allowed in the Motor Vehicles Act. However, the authorities have failed to implement the rules and thus corporation is suffering.