Chandigarh, July 8
The Punjab Small-scale Bus Operators’ Association has accused the Transport Department of illegally collecting crores of rupees as late fee for issuing fitness certificates to buses.
Couldn’t pay due to lockdown
Transporters, who could not pay the penalty because of lockdown, have become defaulters in the records of the Transport Department. Their buses are not being allowed to ply. — JS Grewal, Bus operator
They have claimed the department illegally charged Rs 50 per day as penalty for issuing certificates to hundreds of commercial vehicles, including buses, trucks and taxis.
The association flagged the matter during a recent meeting with the State Transport Commissioner and other officials.
It was pointed out that a Central government’s notification to charge Rs 50 per day as late fee was stuck down by different courts in 2016 and 2017, but the state Transport Department continued to charge the amount from transporters.
“Those who could not pay the penalty because of the Covid-induced lockdown have become defaulters in the records of the department. Buses of such transporters are not being allowed to ply. The department is answerable to the transporters,” said JS Grewal, general secretary of the association.
“The Principal Secretary, Transport, had on January 16, 2022, issued an amended notification, clarifying that late fee had been reduced from Rs 50 to Rs 10 per day with effect from February 2022. However, the department’s software shows late fee of Rs 10 per day from February 2022 and Rs 50 prior to that,” the association said in a statement.
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