Tuesday, May 07, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Talking to reporters here, Mr. Maken said the cash counters of the Transport Department had been kept open on Saturday also and around 1,600 people had deposited the Rs.1,000 fine in advance. The fine will be deposited in the Supreme Court Registry as per directions of the court. Stating that there was no strike by the diesel bus operators, Mr. Maken said the transporters would not be foolish to pay the fine and then keep their fleet off the road.
At the same time, the Transport Minister said there had been no complaints about harassment of the commuters due to non-availability of buses from any part of the Capital. "The Transport Department is constantly monitoring the situation and if anything goes wrong, we will act immediately. Those who had predicted a transport crisis in the past also had been proved wrong as the public transport was plying smoothly and in a normal manner,'' Mr. Maken said. He said according to information received by him, long queues had been formed outside the cash counters at the Under Hill Road office of the Transport Department to deposit the Rs. 1,000 fine.
On the other hand, he said in order to dispel fears of a strike by the diesel bus operators and to counter the charges of fleecing by bus operators, he had been travelling on various routes since morning. "I got into a number of buses on Ring Road and at ITO to check for myself and enquire from the commuters if they were being harassed by the bus operators. I also sought to known from them whether they had any difficult in getting a bus in the morning and majority of them maintained that it was business as normal,'' he added.
Referring to the charge that electronic meters of certain companies installed in autorickshaws and taxis were not functioning properly, the Transport Minister said these companies had been approved and enlisted by the Meterology Department of the Central Government. In fact, the Delhi Government is only following the guidelines issued by this Department and had enrolled only those companies which have been approved by the Centre.
He said the Transport Department had no role in the approval of any such company and the matter was being entirely handled by the Central Government. The Minister said a team comprising officials of the Transport Department and the Weights and Measures Department was being dispatched to Pune and Mumbai to study the installation and maintenance of electronic meters for autorickshaws and taxis. The Minister said there would be no going back on the installation of new meters and if anybody has any grievance he was free to approach him or his officials.
It is unfortunate, he said, that various office-bearers of public transport operators never came to him with such complaints and always preferred to rush to the media which did not solve the problem. "They are meeting me virtually every second day. If there is any problem, then they should raise the matter in the meeting. They hardly say anything about paying bribes and non- functioning of the meters despite the officials from Burari being present in the meeting,'' he stated.
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