Dharamshala: Well past the midnight hour, GS Bali, cabinet minister for transport, conducted a surprise checking operation to nab illegally operated luxury Volvo buses on the Delhi-Dharamshala route. Nine buses without valid permits are said to have been detained.
A Facebook update of the minister disclosed that Bali began the search operation from Kangra at about 3.30 a.m. and kept it up to Umb on the Dharamshala-Chandigarh highway. The inspection only ended at 8 a.m.
In all 9 buses were found to be travelling illegally on the route.
So as to not put the passengers into any inconvenience, the minister had brought along standby state transport buses. The passengers travelling in the illegal buses were asked to move into the state transport buses while the luxury buses were impounded by the authorities.
Statements of the passengers travelling in these buses were also recorded.
Himachal Road Transport Corporation operates about half a dozen buses on the Dharamshala – Delhi route, but private operators illegally run over a dozen luxury buses on a daily basis and manage to evade paying any taxes.
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.
I am not at all surprised ! I have worked closely with Mr. Bali for five years and can say with confidence that few of his peers have the commitment to office, the initiative and the boldness to act in this manner. Most prefer to use bureaucrats as an alibi and a buffer but Mr. Bali is proactive and not dependent on his officers for doing his ( and their !) job. It is common knowledge that luxury buses ply as stage carriages illegally on both the Delhi- Dharamsala and Delhi-Kullu/ Manali routes without paying any taxes, minting crores every year. Their owners are also known but they are politically powerful persons and no Minister or official can have the temerity to catch them. Hats off to Mr. Bali. Action needs to be taken not only against these operators but also against the Transport and HRTC officials who were clearly conniving in this illegality. The will now go into damage control- wait for the s–t to hit the fan now!