Overcrowded buses, rickshaws sans metres to be fined Rs 2000

Buses carrying passengers beyond their capacity and auto-rickshaws plying without fare meters will be fined Rs 2000 each, under the new guidelines which have been framed by Directorate of Transport to streamline public transport in the state.

The guidelines were taken at a meeting, which was attended by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Transport Minister Ramkrishna Dhavlikar along with other transport department officials. The new set of stringent rules for auto-rickshaw and private bus operators, which would be in place from next month.

The directorate has ordered auto-rickshaw operators, who generally overcharge passengers arbitrarily to install fare meters from October onwards, failing which they will be fined Rs 2,000.

Goa is one of the states in which autos charge exorbitant rates to passengers since the directorate has failed to crack down on erring auto operators.

Currently, according to government rates, rickshaws have to charge Rs 15 for the first kilometer and Rs 12 for subsequent kilometers. There are around 3800 rickshaws registered with the department.

For private buses, the new rules makes it compulsory for drivers and conductors to wear uniform while plying buses, failing which action under Motor vehicle Act (MVA would be initiated. Errant drivers and conductors would be fined Rs 2000 for violations.

It has been decided that buses carrying passengers beyond their permitted capacity would be fined Rs 100 on each extra passenger, while another Rs 2000 for violating rules under MVA. Approximately 1460 private buses are registered in the state.

Director Transport Arun Dessai said that department had been receiving several complaints regarding violations of rules by private bus operators. Conductors and drivers were also found misbehaving with passengers.

“In the wake of complaints and to streamline the public transport system, government decided to introduce new rules with stringent actions,” Dessai said.

The transport department, which had initiated a drive against erring drivers and conductors in 2010 and 2011, had issued around 1500 challans respectively. [H]