‘Youth must ask for change of transport minister’
The all Goa private bus owners association (AGPBOA) on Monday demanded for offices at all bus stands in Goa so that they could resolve commuters' grievances on the spot.
The above demand, stated at a press conference at Panaji by AGPBOA general secretary Sudip Tamankar, follows the recent agitation by students' across Goa complaining that the private bus operators were not complying with rules and ill-treating students and other passengers while travelling in private buses.
One of the complaints of the students is that private bus operators do not enforce the reservation of seats for women in their buses although such seats are marked. Referring to this, Tamankar related an incident how this does not work. He said on January 30, 2013, a private bus was proceeding from Margao to Ponda and the conductor saw a male passenger seated on a seat reserved for ladies.
The conductor requested the man to vacate the seat but this annoyed the man. When the bus stopped at Ponda, the man severely assaulted the conductor but when the conductor went to lodge a police complaint against him at the Ponda police station, police registered a non-cognizable offence and refused to act against the man.
Tamankar said that since the government cannot ensure their security, the private bus owners decided not to enforce the reservation for women themselves leaving it to ladies to request men to vacate the seats.
Referring to student leader Gaurang Panandikar, who was a key person in the recent student agitation, Tamankar said that he knew Panandikar, who is a close associate of chief minister Manohar Parrikar. The students' agitation is actually an attempt by Parrikar to finish off the private bus operators in Goa, Tamankar said.
Tamankar said that the Congress government was thrown out by the power of the youth in Goa who brought about a 'parivartan'. But why are the youth not asking the chief minister to carry on the 'parivartan' by also changing the transport minister, Tamankar asked, adding that as long as there is no change in the transport minister, the same problems will continue. [TOI]