Hyderabad: Travelling along the main roads in Kukatpally and Khairatabad via Ameerpet at the night continues to be a nightmare for motorists, with private travel buses blocking a major portion of roads while picking up passengers.
Though the problem is not new for motorists, the road congestion and subsequent traffic snarls on these narrow roads are on the rise, particularly after 7 pm.
As a large number of passengers wait for the buses on the road, drivers of private buses stop their vehicles wherever they want, thus causing severe inconvenience to commuters.
According to Regional Transport Authority (RTA) officials, there are over 1,000 private buses which ply mostly towards Vijayawada and Bengaluru from KPHB and Miyapur. They pass through Moosapet, SR Nagar and Ameerpet.
In the past, authorities had instructed owners of private travels to shift their buses to the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and to hire mini buses to take passengers from their respective places to their points along the ORR. However, this is yet to happen.
The trouble usually begins after 7 pm when the private buses start picking up their passengers from Nizampet crossroads, KPHB and continue up to Khairatabad. The normal travel time from Kukatpally to Ameerpet is 30 minutes, but this goes up to more than one hour once the private buses start moving on these roads.
The situation goes from bad to worse during weekends and festivals as more number of private buses enter the city.
Over Rs 2 crore imposed as challan
Acting tough against private travel buses, the RTA has imposed a challan of Rs 2.23 crore on them over the last one year by conducting raids at different locations in the city.
According to officials, buses plying without payment of taxes, permits, inadequate or no fire safety measures and not producing required documents, are being seized during the raids by constituting special teams involving motor vehicle inspectors and assistant motor vehicle inspectors.
“As many as 10,443 cases were booked against private buses during 2018-19 and 1,931 cases in 2019 till June 10. Most cases were booked on the Vijayawada and Bengaluru routes,” said C Ramesh, Joint Transport Commissioner (IT & Vigilance).
“We have intensified raids on private buses. We are not leaving those plying without paying taxes and causing revenue loss to the State exchequer,” he said.
Private buses have to pay taxes every quarter and if they fail to do so, RTA penalises tax defaulters during inspection. During 2018-19, RTA collected tax of Rs 73.8 crore from private buses and in 2019 till June 10, a sum of Rs 16.15 crore has been collected.
Inset: Shifting pick up points for pvt buses
As traffic jams are increasing due to private buses in the city, RTA along with authorities concerned are planning to hold talks on shifting the pickup points for private buses going to Vijayawada to Uppal.
Ramesh said they were thinking of identifying a plot of land in Uppal for parking private buses to avoid traffic snarls in the city. As the Hyderabad Metro is available from Kukatpally, people can easily reach Uppal and can travel to their destinations from Uppal, he said.
“We will have discussions with authorities concerned and chalk out necessary plans,” he added.