‘Will be forced to shut if traffic fines continue’, say Hyderabad bus operators

TSCBOA President accused traffic police constables of taking random pictures of buses with an intention to impose challans on them.

Hyderabad: Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) has accused Hyderabad Traffic Police of harassing bus operators by imposing heavy fines and said that this could lead to the shutting down of the services. 

TSCBOA on Monday appealed to the Hyderabad Traffic Police Additional Commissioner Sudheer Babu to look into the matter on humanitarian grounds and take necessary action to provide relief to the operators and drivers.

The TSCBO President, Syed Nizamuddin has warned that the police’s actions could result in the industry’s closure as the fines incurred are so steep that operators are left empty-handed despite investing crores of rupees.

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He accused the traffic police constables of taking random pictures of buses with the intention to impose challans on them. “There is a roll call at all police stations where constables are required to take 100 photos of traffic violations twice daily, with each picture of a traffic violation earning at least Rs 1635 of a challan,” he alleged.

Nizamuddin said that the bus operators were suffering huge losses due to indiscriminate challans by the traffic police. “On a booking of Rs 5000, we are spending about Rs 2000 on diesel and another Rs 1000 on the drive. With the traffic police taking away the remaining amount, we are left with no money to pay EMIs and other expenses. Instead of making some profits, we are suffering losses by operating the buses,” he said.

“Of a booking of Rs 5000, the bus operators are spending nearly Rs 2000 only on traffic challans… Each and every bus which we are operating in Greater Hyderabad is not returning to the garage without a challan,” he said in a media statement on Monday.

“The traffic police are imposing a fine of Rs 1635 in the name of traffic violations like no entry, Rs 800 for sunshade at the driver’s seat, Rs 500 for disobedience and sometimes Rs 500 towards compounding,” Nizamuddin recounted the challan details.

The TSCBOA president pointed out that almost all operators in Hyderabad were not getting daily bookings. “With the IT sector still closed, many operators are facing financial difficulties as there is no business for almost 20 days in a month,” he added.

“When the operators are trying to do some business, the police are seizing buses and imposing heavy fines, making it impossible for them to earn their livelihood,” he said.

With the additional burden of increased taxes by the government, he said that the bus operations are facing financial issues. “The government has increased taxes for the sector from Rs 1210 to Rs 1510. This increase in tax means that a 50-seater bus’s tax has been effectively raised by over Rs 15,000 ” he added.

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