Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh): Everyone had to suffer due to outbreak of Covid infection at some or the other level. They include operators of about 34,000 buses in the state. Even after a month of start of unlock process, 50% of passenger buses are not plying.
At many levels, discussions were held, memorandum was submitted while operators held talks with state transport minister, finance minister, transport commissioner, regional transport officer but no solution has been found so far.
The problems are increasing and the government is only giving assurances. Memorandum and demand letters were handed over to finance minister Jagdish Devda in Mandsaur on June 6, to transport minister Govind Singh Rajput on July 9, to Transport Secretary on July 13, to Transport Commissioner Gwalior by Madhya Pradesh Bus Owners Association.
Association regional president Hemendra Karnawat, Santosh Pandey and general secretary Jaikumar Jain have said that the bus operators have not been able to pay the installments of insurance, finance for four months.
Buses are not plying and therefore they should not be asked to pay taxes, they said. As per discussions held in the meeting, it was decided to extend date for depositing tax dues by three months. That decision is still to be implemented.
The Indore division president of the association Govind Sharma said the decision to increase the vehicle surrender fee of Rs 100 on non-use buses has not been implemented. There is a nominal fee in the neighboring states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. “Then, why more in Madhya Pradesh? The Ministry of Transport should consider this,” said Sharma.
Ujjain Divisional Association president Govind Baheti, Mandsaur District president Shikharchand Ratadiya, Neemuch's Saurabh Kothari said state government gave approval to increase fare by 50 per cent when they demanded 60 per cent fare hike when diesel cist was Rs 76 per litre. Now , it Rs 100 per litre but there is no increase in fare.
Out of 450 passenger buses in Mandsaur and Neemuch district, only 250 passenger buses have become operational.