Travel Operators resume agitation as TS Govt did not honour its promise

Hyderabad, Sept.30 : Expressing deep anguish over the behaviour of the State Government in resolving the problems being faced by them, the Transport Operators of Telangana on Wednesday resumed agitation demanding waiver of Motor Vehicle Tax for the lockdown period due to Covid-19.

Led by Telangana State Cabs & Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) President Syed Nizamuddin, along with other leaders Gopal Reddy and Naresh  and other leaders, hundreds of travel operators from all across the State held a protest at the RTA office in Khairtabad. “When we tried to hold agitation on September 5, two days before the commencement of the Assembly session, we were assured by the top officials that our demand for waiver of MV Tax for the lockdown period would be waived and relevant orders would be issued in a day or two. The officials convinced us that all the operators who have submitted online applications for putting the vehicles under ‘Non Use’ would be considered. However, orders were issued extending the deadline to pay the MV Tax till September 30. We were assured that the orders for waiver of MV tax would be issued in a while,” he informed.

Nizamuddin said that today (Wednesday) was September 30 and the last day for payment of MV Tax. “Now the top officials are claiming that they have already sent the proposal to the Chief Minister’s Office for consideration and a final decision would be taken by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao himself. Everyone knows that it is almost impossible to meet CM KCR and none of the travel operators have any access to the CMO. We were arrested when we tried to visit Pragathi Bhavan only to submit a memorandum in the Inward Section. In this scenario, we are feeling cheated and let down,” he said.

The TSCBOA Chief said that the operators had no business during the lockdown period and that none of them had any money to pay MV Tax for that period. “We’ve already pointed out that the authorities have imposed heavy penalties for non-payment or delay in payment of advance MV Tax. We are being penalised for non-submission of documents for placing the vehicles under ‘Non-Use’. During the entire lockdown period, all our vehicles were parked in the garages or other parking lots. The RTA offices were closed for most of the period and the transport operators had no exemption to reach the RTA offices to submit vehicle documents,” he said.

Nizamuddin said that the RTA Commissioner and Principal Secretary of Transport Department Sunil Sharma had given us positive assurance on September 5. But today, they are either inaccessible or expressing helplessness in providing us relief, he said.

The TSCBOA chief said that the travel operators were still hoping to get some relief on this issue. He said that the travel operators have no business or money to pay for vehicles which remained parked in our garages during the lockdown period. Our industry is heading for an abrupt closure and we might lose nearly six lakh jobs. He appealed to the Chief Minister to help the travel operators at least on humanitarian grounds. (NSS)