The All Goa Bus Owners Association (AGBOA) on Monday demanded that fifty per cent concession granted to the students in Goa should be reviewed to curb its misuse.
AGBOA General Secretary Sudip Tamankar informed that many youngsters carry bogus identity cards and avail of the 50 per cent concession in ticket rates thereby affecting the economics of their business.
He demanded that the concession scheme should be reviewed and granted to only school students during the day and that too on the route to their educational institute. He also demanded that either the state government should stamp those identity cards or AGBOA should be given the right to certify them as genuine.
Tamankar said that they had earlier taken up the issue with the State Education Department but nothing really worked.
Goa government had granted 50 per cent concession in fares to the students in 1978 after massive agitation by the students’ union in the state.
Tamankar said that they have no problem in giving concession to the genuine, while stating that the misuse of this scheme should not be allowed. He also informed that their demands have been pending with the transport department since last year.
Accusing the Director of Transport Arun Dessai of being insensitive to their cause, he said the director along with the two Assistant Directors who look after the enforcement in both districts should be shunted from their current posting.
The bus operators also alleged that there are different set of rules that are made applicable by Road Transport Authorities (RTA) in the state. While one RTA says that the life of the buses is five years, others say its 15 years, Tamankar said.
The bus owners have decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike from 12th April, right in front of the Director of Transport’s office in Panjim, and threatened to intensify the same by taking their buses off the road from 15th April if their demands are not met by then.