Nagpur: In the recent past, the infamous Star Bus operator in the city has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. and this time too it has only continued the trend. A gross tax evasion has been reportedly committed by the company. Interestingly, no action is being taken despite the tax touched as much as Rs 8 crores. Insiders say that BJP led NMC has the key role to play behind sparing Vansh Nimay from the tax default.
Meanwhile, stepping up for the recovery the Transport department has seized 62 non functional buses parked at Hingna depot due to non-payment of Rs 2 lakh of motor vehicle tax. Department also served notice to Nagpur Municipal Corporation for not paying passenger tax and food tax. NMC also issued notice to bus operator but company refused to pay tax. Administration warned to file criminal offense on this but no action has been taken against operator yet.
Insiders revealed that company is operating on its whims and fancies owing to the backing and privilege it enjoys from the political bigwigs particularly those from the corridors of power.
Notorious political roots!
Insiders revealed that the company’s owner Dhawangle has firmly rooted himself through strong political connection. It may be mentioned here that an influential BJP leader supported the tender in favour of Dhawangle. Another interesting fact is that the Star Bus operations for most of the routes fall under the men who have proximity to Congress leaders.
Civic authorities turn blind eye
Nagpur Municipal Corporation took up task of city bus service in 2007 and gave responsibility of city bus service to Ms/ Vansh Infotech Private Limited. Agreement of this work was made between NMC and Vansh Company. 230 buses started plying in city. In 2009, Nagpur Municipal Corporation received 300 buses again under JNNURM project of Central government. This had increased number of Star buses in city to 530. It was expected that this would make commuting of people in city become easier and it would prove boon for service class and students. But this did not happen. It is said that if any strict action is taken against bus operator, Star buses in city would come to halt. Whims and fancies of Vansh Nimay
A committee was formed under chairmanship of Anil Sole to probe Star bus scam in the backdrop of various issues in last seven years. Sole became mayor in elections held later. During his tenure, inquiry report was tabled in the House and harsh comments were made on working of Star buses. It was also recommended that contract of Star bus should be scrapped. It was expected that contract will be scrapped after committee’s report. But leave aside improvement, contractor had issued notice to Nagpur Municipal Corporation that services were not being made available by the civic body as per agreement.
Buses reduced to half
It was expected that every day 450 to 500 buses would ply on city roads due to availability of 200 buses of contractor and 300 buses received from Central government. There was expectation of one bus after every ten minutes for people. But contractor”s buses have gone into scrap. Many buses received from Central government are not in running condition as they are not properly maintained. Due to this, hardly 250 buses are plying in city.