Bengaluru: Some of the private buses seized by transport officials in the City on Tuesday.
Shifting focus from taxis to buses, the Transport department on Tuesday seized 50 private buses for various violations.
According to officials of the department, the raid started as early as 4 am when several private buses were parked in the Majestic area. The team led by the joint commissioner of transport Narendra Holkar, along with RTO officials and inspectors from the Transport department, swooped down on the area near BMTC depot number 7 and found several buses parked there.
The 50 buses belonging to various operators had several violations. Many of them were poorly maintained and unfit to ply and some others were fitted with additional seats and evading taxes.
Many of these buses did not even have permits to ply and did not have mandatory exit doors despite the government order after two accidents involving luxury buses catching fire in 2013.
Speaking with Deccan Herald, Holkar, said: “The buses have been seized after we found gross violations. They will be released only after the owners pay up the penalty. Every bus caught for tax evasion by adding extra seats is causing a loss of Rs 2.5 lakh annually to the department.”
The seized buses, have been parked in BMTC depot number 7. The move is seen as a step closer to rid the City of private buses and shift their operations to the outskirts of the City. Already, the operations of most of the long-distance buses belonging to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) have been shifted to the outskirts of the City and since then the department had been making attempts to shift the private operators as well.
The KSRTC had shifted out about 3,000 schedules of its buses to various bus terminals in different parts of the City. While Mysore-bound buses ply from satellite bus terminal, the buses to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh operate from Shanthinagar bus stand.
Recently, the schedules to Panaji, Mumbai, Shirdi, Pune, Goa, Hubballi, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Bidar and other places were shifted to Basaveshwara bus terminal at Peenya.
The private buses, a good number of which ply illegally, outnumber KSRTC buses. Worse, these buses have various pick-up points located in the heart of the City, causing traffic jams and adding to the ever-increasing noise and air pollution levels.