A private travels bus on the way to Vishkapatnam rammed into an electric pole on Saturday. While some of the passengers were seriously injured.
However, what was shocking about the incident was the bus was registered under the Arunachal Pradesh Transport Department and operated by Sri Venkata Kanaka Durga Travels in Andhra pradesh .
This sparked off a major debate on local media in Telangana and Andhra, as it followed several allegations by politicians and officials alike that there were several such buses operating illegally in the state.
Following the incident, the Arunachal Pradesh government has now reportedly decided to put an end to such unlawful operation of ‘tourist’ buses and cancelled the permit of all buses that were registered with them, but not operating in their state. The move would affect as many as 900 buses in the two Telugu states.
On June 6, the Arunachal government cancelled permits of both tourist and sleeper coach buses on the grounds that they do not operate in the state where they were registered. According to APSRTC sources most of the private travel operators obtain bus permits from northeastern states since fee for the permits is far less in comparison to the fees in AP and Telangana.
Sources said the Arunachal government took the decision following series of complaints from local transporters also after they pointed to the fact that their business is getting affected. “They also wanted the government to take action against illegal travels buses from other states,” sources said and added that private operators have been specifically told to obtain permits from AP and Telangana.
According to sources, four Arunachal Pradesh transport department officials have been suspended as they issued permits without proper verification. “There are 2,500 buses belonging to various states which are awaiting granting of permits. Since the origin and destination of the above 900 buses do not belong to Arunachal Pradesh, the government there cancelled the permits,” said the transport official.