Thiruvananthapuram

Permit exemption on cards for luxury buses

The move by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to allow air-conditioned deluxe buses with seating capacity of more than 22 to operate without permit may hit the crisis-ridden Kerala State Road Transport Corporation.

Once the Ministry goes ahead with the amendment to Section 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, air-conditioned deluxe buses (ACX) conforming to Bus Body Code AIS-052 and with seating capacity above 22 will be able to operate intra and inter-State services.

Draft notification

The draft notification to exempt luxury buses from the requirement of permits had been forwarded by the Under Secretary, MoRTH, to Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries and Transport Commissioners of all States and Union Territories with a request to furnish comments and suggestions within 30 days. Although the Ministry says the initiative is to provide a “safe, reliable, dignified, comfortable, affordable public transport in the Indian cities”, the move to end permit raj will hit State transport undertakings such as the KSRTC as the public sector undertakings will have to face stiff competition from private operators.

“The KSRTC’s inter-State and long-distance services will be hit once MoRTH goes ahead with the amendment. Private players are already giving the KSRTC a run on inter-State routes to key cities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with better services. The exchequer will also be hit as ACX buses deployed for operations need not be registered in Kerala,” a KSRTC official said.

The move was welcomed by private operators, who have around 1,000 buses in the State.

“We welcome the decision to amend the MV rules,” Chairman of the South Indian chapter of the Bus and Car Operators Federation of India Manoj Padikkal said.

The initiative will not affect the KSRTC as being feared, Mr. Manoj said adding that it would give commuters options to choose the operator.

“They will choose the best operator. It is also aimed at reducing the entry of private personalised vehicles and to reduce congestion in cities,” he said.

Bus body code

As per Bus Body Code AIS-052, ACX buses should have fixed glass windows and push-back 2x2 seats on both sides.

Multi-axle Scania and Volvo buses used by the KSRTC and private operators on long-distance route conform to these standards.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 11:06:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/permit-exemption-on-cards-for-luxury-buses/article30562266.ece

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