Maharashtra government fixes maximum ticket fares for private buses
According to a government resolution (GR) released by the state home department on April 27, private bus operators will not be able to charge more than 50 per cent per kilometre as that of the rates of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses plying in respective categories.pune Updated: Apr 30, 2018 18:22 IST
The state government has fixed the maximum ticket rates that could be levied by private bus operators on passengers, giving the much-needed relief to passengers who are forced to pay exorbitant fares during the festive season.
According to a government resolution (GR) released by the state home department on April 27, private bus operators will not be able to charge more than 50 per cent per kilometre as that of the rates of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses plying in respective categories.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city-based advocate Asim Sarode in the high court had raised the issue of exploitation of passengers by private bus operators. The PIL had stated that in 2005, around 56,000 private buses were registered with the state and roughly 25 lakh people travelled by private buses. The PIL raised the contention that the fare charged by private transport operators was not regulated. It further stated that services offered by some private transport operators are very poor and wanted rules to be framed in respect of private bus operators.
While hearing the PIL in 2012, the high court had directed the state government to take appropriate steps to issue notification fixing the minimum and maximum fare of contract carriages. It stated that as per the provisions of Section 67 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the state government has the power to issue directions both to the state transport authority and the regional transport authority regarding fixing of fares and freights for stage carriages, contract carriages and goods carriages.
The government resolution released on Friday states, “The Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), Pune, was directed to study the services being provided by private buses. A report was submitted by CIRT regarding the same. It divided the buses into various categories like air conditioned, non air conditioned, sleeper, sleeper and seating among others. The tax for each category of vehicles, the fuel cost and maintenance cost among others is different for different vehicles.”
It added that it has been decided that the private contractors will not be able to charge passengers more than 50 per cent per kilometre compared to the ticket rates of MSRTC buses according to the categories.
Following the government resolution of fixing the maximum rates for private buses, state transport minister, Diwakar Raote, said, “Action would be taken against private buses found to be overcharging exorbitantly and causing inconvenience to passengers.”