In a move that may have implications in Punjab politics, the Delhi government’s transport department has seized and released eight luxury buses of Indo-Canadian Transport service, a company in which Punjab’s deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal reportedly has a stake.
The transport department said the Mercedes buses were operating without permits, running a passenger service from the Delhi airport to Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Amritsar.
The buses charge Rs 1,700-2,500 for a 400-km journey.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will contest the assembly election in Punjab next year and the party has been campaigning against the Badal government in the state.
Sources said the action against the Indo-Canadian Bus service was taken after a complaint from AAP MLA from Bijwasan, Devender Sehrawat.
“The airport area is under my constituency and I noticed the buses were plying illegally, ferrying passengers to various cities of Punjab. I submitted a complaint to the transport department and the Lieutenant Governor,” said Sehrawat.
Officials said eight buses were seized in a week. “Some operators of the black and yellow taxis at the Delhi airport met us and filed a complaint against the Indo-Canadian Transport service. We deployed our enforcement team at the airport. On Monday only, four buses were seized. The drive will continue and if the buses ply again, criminal action will be initiated,” said KK Dahiya, special commissioner (transport).
The buses were parked at the transport department’s Burari office. The bus operator, later, paid the challan and took the buses on Tuesday.
The office of Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, however, denied any seizure by the Delhi government. “All the documents of buses and permits are up to date,” said an official.
Hardeep Kumar Arora, manager, Indo-Canadian Transport service too said: “None of our buses have been seized as we have proper permit and documents.”
Delhi government officials, however, said that the buses had tourist permits and to pick passengers from Delhi, they need to have stage carriage permit.