Hyderabad: Following the cancellation by the Arunachal Pradesh government of permits of 900 buses registered in that state but being operated in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh, all private travel operators in the Telugu states announced that they will cancel their sleeper coach bus services on Wednesday and Thursday.
Nearly 900 services will be halted for two days and maybe more.
Arunachal allows some relaxations that allow, among others, travel operators to run sleeper buses in certain formats.
The private travel operators say that they have got a stay from the Guwahati High Court against the Arunachal government order, but the AP government has got a stay against plying of buses registered in Arunachal Pradesh and has got their permits cancelled.
Senior HR manager of Orange Tours and Travels Hephzibah said the company was cancelling all its 136 sleeper coach bus services in TS and AP.
“We are expecting a solution to the ongoing issues. Ours is a major travel business with sleeper coaches registered in Arunachal Pradesh. Other major travel companies have taken a similar decision,” she said.
Another travel operator who was not willing to disclose his identity said that no alternative arrangements had been made to accommodate passengers who have booked their tickets because a majority of sleeper coaches are registered with the Arunachal Pradesh transport department.
“There is no option except refunding the pre-booking amount to passengers, followed by apologies,” he said.
Three major travel operators in TS and AP run buses registered in Arunachal — Orange Tours and Travels, Kesineni Travels and Morning Star. Nearly 100 small and medium travel operators also use these buses to avoid paying more for their permits.
An official from the TS transport department said Arunachal Pradesh has been providing incentives to tourist buses in order to encourage tourism in that state.
“Buses registered with the Arunachal government pay only Rs 17,000 per annum for a national permit, whereas Telugu states are charging `3,500 per seat per annum, which is about 10 to 20 times higher. To avoid paying the higher permit fee, private travel companies are using Arunachal registered buses. That is causing a loss of Rs 50 crore per annum to the APSRTC and about Rs 1,000 crore to the TSRTC indirectly,” the transport official said.
TS transport department commissioner Sunil Sharma said that the government was seeking more information on the registration numbers of buses suspended by the Arunachal Government. “Once TS government gets the list of buses, we shall take action,” he said....