IT and transport minister and district minister in-charge Bhupendra Singh said school bus fares should reduce now as the government is not levying permit tax on school buses.
Bhupendra Singh said in a meet the press programme at Indore Press Club that he has directed all the collectors to hold a meeting of Yatayat Samiti (transport committee) to discuss the matter with school authorities and fix the fare of school buses.
He said the transport department will set up a Transport Authority and among other responsibilities, it will impose a cess on lucrative routes and with that money subsidise the non-lucrative routes for the convenience of people. The Transport Authority would develop bus stands on PPP model and also facilitate entering into agreements with other state transport corporations.
He said they have set up a Gramin Parivahan and no permit tax is being charged from those who ply vehicles on rural routes, apart from getting 20% subsidy.
Referring to the steps taken by the department to make the buses better and secure, he said now police verification is mandatory for all commercial drivers. He said they are cracking down on drinking and driving and licenses of 93 drivers who had been caught driving in an inebriated state have been cancelled in the state. To ensure better standards of buses, the permit tax on deluxe buses have been brought down.
Replying to a query on corruption in the department, Singh said in a bid to reduce corruption and cartelization of routes, permits have been made available online.
“I have instructed that those who apply for permits should be given temporary permits within a week and permanent permits within one month. This has resulted in competition and more buses are plying on each route. Earlier, a few powerful people formed a cartel and used to take permits but ply lesser number of buses which resulted in over-crowding of buses. This has ended," the minister claimed.