HC dismisses petition filed by omni bus operators

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Madurai Omni Bus Operators’ Welfare Association who sought a direction to permit them to operate intra-city services without any condition.

The association had challenged the notification issued by the district administration that restricted the omni buses to operate from the omni bus stand at Mattuthavani alone. The association said that they were unable to pick up and drop passengers with luggage from certain points in the city.

Justice Anita Sumanth observed that in the considered opinion of the court, omni buses must keep away from intra-city roads in order to ensure a proper system of road safety for pedestrians and vehicles and their management.

Permitting omni buses to stop and pick passengers en route within the city will certainly cause hardship to vehicle users and pedestrians since such impulsive and unscheduled stops would interrupt free and safe movement of traffic.

Madurai is a small city when compared to other South Indian cities and also a beautiful, bustling one. But the roads were crowded and narrow. The omni bus stand at Mattuthavani was built to facilitate a common stand with sufficient space to operate buses. There was no flaw in the notification passed by the district administration, which was in alignment with the government policy for development of Smart Cities.

The convenience of a small section of the public cannot be at the cost of inconvenience and safety of a larger section of the public, the court said.

“Omni buses are designed for inter-State conveyance, they have no place /role within the confines of a city such as Madurai. Town buses that run intra-city are always available to carry passenger traffic in the city to the omni bus stand at Mattuthavani. Moreover, the private bus operators run shuttles between the omni bus stand and various points in the city as service to the passengers and to augment their business,” the court added.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 7:03:52 AM |

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