Ban for publicity. It seems to be the new mantra of the Punjab transport department. On Monday, the publicity wing of the government didn’t even flinch while doing a ‘copy and paste job’ while re-releasing an old press statement and making it appear as a fresh decision.
In a statement issued on transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar’s behalf, a government spokesperson announced a ban on vulgar and provocative songs in the state-run transport buses with immediate effect. Interestingly, on November 2, 2015, the transport minister had made the same announcement through a release.
The people have been demanding this ban, primarily in private buses that include fleets owned by the Badal family.
According to the release, the minister said any bus driver violating government’s directive would face strict departmental action.
The minister, as per the spokesperson, reiterated that the Punjab government was committed to provide best transport services to its people and it was imperative for the officers concerned to ensure the proper and forceful implementation of the instructions in larger public interest.
“Random surprise checks would be conducted by a specially constituted committee to check the use of provocative music in the buses,” added the release
Sources say even after making this announcement last year no concrete action was taken by the department. “This decision was never taken officially. People want action against private transporters who play this offensive and vulgar music. This problem doesn’t exist much in state-run buses,” an officer said.
When reached over phone, the transport minister feigned ignorance about having taken the decision earlier also. “I keep receiving complaints from people…they want ban (on vulgar music in buses). We have to be tough. Therefore, I told the person (PR spokesperson) to release a statement. People are unhappy.”
When asked why he was shying away from banning vulgar songs in private buses, he said: “I will act tough on all.”