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ROBBERS ‘ENROUTE or Illegal Buses on Punjab Roads

ROBBERS ‘ENROUTE  or Illegal Buses on Punjab Roads

Roadways annual loss Rs.72 Crores

Operaters Buses Multiply Four times a year

 Officers Pocker 100 crore & more !!!

 Public Robbed, Passengers are Sour!!!!


With the exception of developed countries, corruption, as Mrs. Gandhi once remarked was a global phenomenon. According to an international survey agency lndia is unfortunately one of the most corrupt systems. Obviously the Punjab, cannot be an exception. Ask any Punjabi which department is the most corrupt? Pat comes the reply," lt is police, 'it is electricity Department, it is taxation or it is revenue department."  ln fact all the answers are incorrect, as Punjab’s transport department leads its most murky systems. The public is obviously not quite aware of it. The reason being that both the giver and taker of the booty are happy. lf an illegal transporter pays a bribe of Rs. 5000 per month to thd DTO he can happily ply his illegal bus without any hinderance throughout the month. Thus the public is not directly exposed to unless when it knows that the Punjab Roadways which of course includes PEPSU Transport had made a loss of Rs. 72 ctore, which means that every citizen of the Punjab will have to pay additional Rs. 36 to ensure that the Roadways survives, of course to incur further losses. Adding to the burden of public and please private operaters the government has now increased the fair rate straight away to the extent of 44%.  DHARMENDRA RATAUL has carried outa study in which he has interviewed the concerned to unearth the most revealing and startling data. He alleges that the root cause of the whole malaise is the unauthorised buses which are openly plying with the connivance of the officers and are draining away the revenues of the Roadways. He also advocates that better the Roadways be privatised.
The passenger transport system on roads in Punjab consists about 2400 buses of Punjab Roadways, 1300 of Pepsu Transport Corporation (both are government owned). Let us collectively call the two organisation as the Roadways. Plus there are illegal buses and roughly the same number of private route permit holder's buses. According to a transporter of Jalandhar the number of unauthorised buses plying on the roads of :Punjab are roughly the same as the authorised buses i.e 7400. However if we just have a look on the roads we feel the claim is more than justified as the crowd of private fleet is surely double the public fleet. ln any case to go safe we may accept the figure of 7400. These buses which run without any route permit are the real cause of the decay. They eat away the revenue of the Public buses rendering them ineffective and immobile. ln the  Roadways parlance they are called Special Buses (SBS). This apart there are so called tourist or luxury buses to be hired as chartered or for consolidated parties. These, though do not lead from the bus stand but certainly most of them are not chartered in the real sense of the word. So much so they also accept passengers en-route. These are mostly unauthorised and illegal as most of them do not hold national permits.
Also there are unauthorised taxis. You will find them parked along the bus stands, stations, hospitals and hotels. Here again more than 95% of them do not hold any permit. There are also the country made and locally assembled automobiles called 'Gharhukas' or jovially called 'Marutas'. Since the owners of the, Marutas were not well organised, neither the vehicles very commercially used and they failed to regularly, grease the palms of the  officials, they have since been banned, Though some of there can be spotted at times even now.
All the, commercial vehicles have to pay road tax, quarterly. The passenger transport have to pay another 'tax formerly called, passenger tax 'but now payable in lump-sum and is called the Special Road Tax.
What is special about these Special Buses ?
The unauthorised buses and mini buses which are being plied without any route permits and which are about 7000, are being owned by
(i)              These families and houses that otherwise hold some valid route permit
(ii)             officer/officials of Roadways, under the name of their family members or relatives
(iii)        the so called social workers/ politicians including MLAs and Ministers including present Ministers as well.
(iv)       The Special Buses of the first  order normally have valid number plates while the special buses use their number plates (duplicate) and the Xerox copies of their route permits.




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