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Mini bus operators to hand over keys to Guv in protest

Jalandhar:The Mini Bus Operators Association on Sunday said that till the new Punjab government was formed, the State Transport Department officials should be stopped from complying with the recently issued Punjab and Haryana High Court orders of banning the permit of mini buses.

The mini bus operators quoted the recent, December 20, 2016 High Court judgment, where it banned the permits of as many as 5,000 mini bus operators in the state.

Agitated over the judgment, the mini bus operators have now decided to meet Punjab Governor in this regard. “We would hand over the keys of mini buses to the Punjab Governor and plan the next course of our agitation,” they said.

Senior Vice President of Mini Bus Operators Association Jarnail Singh Garhdiwala said that the state transport officials should be restrained from implementing the high court orders.

He also categorically blamed the transport officials of not properly presenting the facts of mini bus operator’s functioning before the high court. “As per the latest state transport policy formed in the year 2010, the Punjab Roadways was supposed to put in 20 percent of their buses,” he said.

However, an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against this decision in 2012, hence scrapping the policy. He said that a case against this policy was first filed in the year 1999. “The case went on for 18 years, till this policy was recently scrapped on December 20 last year,” he added.

Surjit Singh Soeta, patron and general secretary Tarlok Singh Batala stated that as per the December 20 judgment of high court, the permit of mini buses was cancelled. They pointed out the nexus of corrupt state transport department officials, who spared the big private players but repeatedly ruined the scope of mini bus operators in the state.

“If such a decision was implemented, as many as 5,000 mini bus operators including the other staff employed with them would be left jobless. Punjab is already facing the major crisis of unemployment and such a decision would come as a cropper for the basic lifeline of urban and rural region of the state,” Garhdiwala added.

The mini bus operators also demanded that the newly formed government should approach the Supreme Court against this decision of the High Court.

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