General Secretary of All Goa Bus Owners Association, Sudeep Tamankar reiterated that all private buses will remain off the roads on Monday on account of Kadamba Transport Corporations attempt to cut into their business.
Earlier, the bus owners had threatened to stay off the roads as KTC had proposed to nationalize three more routes – Panjim-Mapusa, Panjim-Ponda and Mapusa-Valpoi, which would mean that only KTC buses would ply on these lucrative routes.
However, this nationalization proposal has been dropped and instead the KTC is now seeking to introduce their buses on 50 new routes which have been the monopoly of private bus operators.
Besides, the private buses had also protested against KTC plying its buses on routes without permits and also dispatching its bus at the same time when a private bus has been allotted the time, which according to Sudeep was harassment of the private bus owners.
“For the last eight to nine months, we have been complaining to the Transport Department of this harassment from KTC, but there has been no action taken against this government sponsored corporation,” he lamented.
The Association on 28th August addressed a letter to the Director of Transport Department listing out their problems following which on 31st August a meeting was held by the Director of Transport where the issue of harassment by KTC was not discussed at all.
Incensed with this behavior, the bus owners met on 1st September and decided to keep their buses off the road on Monday. Sudeep pointed out that the government has already served a notice of this agitation.
“Even though the government has invoked Essential Services Maintenance Act, we shall go ahead with our planned agitation,” said Sudeep.