Nagpur: Regional Transport Office (city) finally took action against 16 running Star buses on Monday as city bus operator Vansh Nimay is not paying pending vehicle and passenger taxes totalling 8.33 crore. The operator is not paying tax even after giving additional period. The bus seizure drive was made at Wadi and Hingna roads due to which passengers had to face lot of problems. This action by RTO sent shock waves in Nagpur Municipal Corporation administration. It was learnt that mayor Praveen Datke called up senior officials of RTO to stop seizures.
According to Mumbai Motor Vehicle Act, 1969, 17.50 per cent passenger tax is levied on every ticket. Vansh Nimay has not paid a single rupee since 2007. Due to this, pending passenger tax has gone over 8.20 crore. Apart from this, Vansh Nimay has not paid vehicle tax since 2013. The vehicle tax is charged as 71 per seat as per Motor Vehicle Tax Act, 1958. The pending tax has now gone beyond 13 lakh.
Vansh Nimay has to pay 8.33 crore which includes passenger tax and vehicle tax. RTO had issued notice to NMC on July 9 last for paying pending amount. NMC in turned issued notice to Vansh Nimay and ordered to pay pending taxes. But Vansh Nimay had claimed that NMC owed money to it. Meanwhile, NMC commissioner had sought time with RTO to pay pending taxes though this was not his job. Lokmat Times had on August 4 had carried news report about why RTO office was going slow on recovery of pending tax from Star bus operator when on other hand no leniency is shown to common people.
Taking cognisance of this and orders of transport commissioner, RTO planned action against Star bus operator on last Thursday itself. Accordingly, one flying squad took action against 16 Star buses on Monday. Sixty three buses in Vansh Nimay”s maintenance workshop have already been seized and kept there. So far 79 buses have been seized.
RTO”s help to passengers
While taking action against Star buses, RTO team did not make passengers to alight from bus during seizure action.The buses were seized after passengers reached their respective destination. Due to this, only 16 buses were seized throughout day. The help extended by RTO towards passengers was centre of discussion.
Pressure from mayor to stop action
If Vansh Nimay had paid passenger tax paid by people from their own pocket on time, the seizures would not have happened. This is misuse of public money. But mayor Praveen Datke and chairman of NMC”s traffic committee Bandu Raut brought pressure on RTO to stop seizure instead of making Vansh Nimay to pay pending tax. According to sources, they called up senior officials of RTO and asked them to stop drive with immediate effect. Due to this, there are clear indications that there would be no action against Star bus on Tuesday.
Hingna-Wadi passengers in trouble
Nearly 10,000 passengers use Star bus service on Hingna and Wadi roads throughout day. RTO (city) office started action on buses from 8 am on Monday. Due to this, passengers had to wait for hours at bus stops. The bus service on both these routes came to halt after 5 pm. Due to this, there was heavy crowd on bus stops on both routes. These passengers had to use option of other transport modes like auto rickshaws and private vehicles.