Mahavir Singh Gahalian (37)
Bus Operator, Shastri Nagar
Frequent visits to the transport department's headquarters at Underhill Road to get permits for his fleet of Bluelines is nothing new for Mahavir Singh Gahalian, a bus operator for the past 16 years.
But he has never felt as hassled as this time.
"I added two new Blueline buses to my fleet in January. Unlike the usual practice of giving permits for four months, they handed out temporary permits for 20 days for both the buses on February 23. It's been five months and they have yet to give me proper permits. They extend it for another 15-20 days every time I visit them, Gahalian said.
From one bus in 1994 to a fleet of 25, Gahalian has come a long way. He claims he has never paid even a single penny to any tout for any work at the transport office.
"But I have never felt as helpless as this time. Some dealing officers here entertain touts for hours but when I approach them, they are not ready to talk even for two minutes. Several operators who bought buses after me have got permits but my file is being shunted from one table to the other, said Gahalian.
Gahalian said several touts have approached him in the past few weeks, promising him to get his work done. "Sometimes I do feel tempted because the staff here (at the STA) only entertain them. But I have belief in myself and I am sure I will manage to get it done soon, he said.