Bhayandar : Four buses of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Transport (MBMT) undertaking have been impounded by the Regional Transport Office (RTO), for defaulting on payment of child nutrition and passenger surcharge and other taxes.
The action followed as the transport utility failed to respond notices sent by the RTO demanding immediate payment of arrears.
After operating bus services on its own for a couple of years since its inception in 2005, the MBMT adopted the PPP scheme and signed a pact on build-own-operate-and- transfer with Kestrel Infrastructure agreeing to pay a royalty of Rs 1 per km. Presently, 60 buses ply on 24 different routes in and out of the twin city. As per directives, the MBMT is bound to collect the money towards various surcharges and deposit it with the Transport Department for its remittance to State government. However, the MBMT which collected around Rs 4 lakh per month in lieu of surcharges, stopped depositing the money with the government treasury since 2010.
Terming the action by the RTO as unjustified, Assistant Civic Chief, Deepak Sawant said, “After a delegation representing transport utilities across the district met the then Deputy Chief Minister in May, 2011, it was decided that the surcharges will be rolled back.” However, despite the fact that an ordinance is yet to be passed in this context, the MBMT failed to deposit the collected surcharge in the government kitty, prompting the RTO to take punitive action.