Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Government has decided to withdraw the controversial order directing all motor transport vehicle owners to get speed governors fitted to their vehicles.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Karnataka is the only State which has sought to implement the speed governor rule aimed at restricting the speed of transport vehicles, including luxury taxis and buses. Based on a direction of the Union Government, the State issued an order in 2005 which prompted lorry operators in particular to move the High Court of Karnataka and thereafter, the Supreme Court.

Kerala is the only other State which has also passed an order for implementation of the speed governor rule, though it has refrained from enforcing it.

Extensive consultations

Briefing presspersons after the meeting here on Monday, State Minister for Transport R. Ashok said the Government, after holding extensive consultations with legal and road transport experts, had decided to withdraw the order.

The latest decision will be formally placed before the State Cabinet for its ratification, and the Government Order will be withdrawn.

Mr. Ashok, who has written three official letters to the Union government seeking a uniform speed governor rule in the country, said the Centre failed to respond resulting in the State Government having to defend the case on its own.

Lorry and bus operators in the State have been up in arms against the Government even suspending their services at least on three occasions in the last two years.

“We do not have the requisite official machinery to enforce the speed governor rule in the State,” Mr. Ashok said.

The Transport Minister said, “How do we prevent vehicles from other States (without speed governor) plying on Karnataka roads? Nearly 10,000 outstation transport vehicles pass through the State every day. Added to this, the State has suffered a serious set-back in revenue from motor vehicle taxes with State lorry operators preferring to register their new vehicles in the neighbouring States.”

BMTC buses

In yet another important decision, Mr. Ashok said the Government decided to replace 1,200 buses of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation at the earliest. “We have the funds, and the BMTC is one among the few government bus corporations in the country which have been steadily earning profits. All the old buses will be auctioned, and it is for the private institutions to bid and purchase the buses,” he said.