Dimapur, Jan. 10: Against the Kohima administration’s attempt to ‘phase-out’ city buses older than 15 years running the capital’s streets, the City Bus Owner’s Union, Kohima has told the government that “the age of vehicle cannot be the criteria” to allow or disallow vehicles from plying.
In a representation addressed to the deputy commissioner of Kohima and the chairman of Regional Transport Authority, Kohima, the union also stated that it was ‘not fair’ to target only the city buses when “there are other vehicle (sic) private or government owned vehicle (sic) like trucks, buses, cars” that are more than 15 years old but not included in the ‘phasing-out category.’
According to the union, at present there are about 135 city buses running in Kohima town which in turn would mean 270 persons being directly employed – drivers and conductors. “The city buses also extend services to the colleges and schools in Kohima town and adjoining area. The churches are also utilising the services of the city buses for its church attendance.
“More than 5000 commuters are utilising the services of the city bus which is the cheapest among other transportation like local taxis and private taxis,” it reminded. If the authorities decide to ‘phase-out’ the buses, reportedly on an order issued March 8 last year, “about 70%” of the families – drivers and conductors who depends solely on the daily earnings – would be affected since they were not “in a position to purchase the new buses immediately”, the union reasoned.
“Regarding safety point of view it may be stated that except in some cases of drunken drivers (sic) related accident no case of accident is seen due to old age or mechanical failure in Kohima town. The central government while taking up the issue of non-registration of diesel vehicle with Delhi government the Supreme Court also giving its ruling in favour of central government and lifted the ban on registration of diesel vehicles.
“It is also observed by central government that there is no violation of Motor Vehicle rules and regulation when vehicles comply with fitness and pollution norms. It also stated that the age of vehicle cannot be the criteria and even in the most developed countries fitness test and compliance of vehicles to the standards is the sole criteria for disallowing a vehicle from plying,” the representation read.
It also claimed that there was no such enforcement anywhere else in the country. “The MV Act of 1988 (59) 1 empowered the RTA to fix the age limit of motor vehicle but no specific years is mentioned and there is scope for reaching mutual understanding on the issue. In view of the above stated reasons your kind authority is requested to re-examine the matter and give reasonable period of time to settle the matter amicably,” it stated.