Truth eventually always succeeds
Terming it as a vindication of state government stand against illegally operating multiple extensions of route permits, Punjab Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, on Wednesday said that the State Transport Appellate Tribunal (STAT) order passed today has exposed those who plundered Punjab and its people for their private gains.
It is a momentous day, Raja Warring said while addressing a press conference here at Punjab Bhawan adding that the STAT has put its stamp on the Transport Department action against as many as 806 permits which were cancelled for running illegally, including those of the Jujhar Transport Passengers.
In a significant decision, the State Transport Appellate Tribunal (STAT) on Wednesday upheld the State Transport Department order cancelling the extension of the original permits beyond 24KM to a large number of transporters in the state in line with the Justice Surya Kant judgement.
No-one would be allowed to play with the state revenue at any cost, Warring said rejecting allegations of vendetta by Badals. Those who had to pay Rs.14 Crore in taxes to Transport Department are now crying foul, Warring quipped adding that truth eventually always succeeds. Expressing no surprise at the frustration of Sukhbir Badal for being called out for looting Punjab, Warring said it was beneath his dignity to even respond to the language being used against him by the former Deputy Chief Minister.
The judgement passed in 2012 was not being implemented in the state which I ensured was not pursued with full force of law, Warring said here pointing out close to 1 Lakh KM of illegally operating multiple extensions of route permits across state have been cancelled after he took over the department on September 29. A total of 682 orders were passed cancelling 806 permits of which 114 companies had approached STAT with lead case being of Jujhar Transport Passengers.
Warring said that the revenue loss to the department due to non-implementation of this judgement is to the tune of Rs.1380 Crores in last 9 years calculated at the rate of Rs.42 revenue per KM per day recorded in October. The daily illegal income to private transporters, of which 50% belongs to Badals and another 30% to their associate companies is Rs.42 Lakh per day, Warring said.
The Minister also said that as per the Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's announcement, all tax waiver for three wheeler Auto Rickshaw Drivers would be implemented.
The Punjab transport commissioner had cancelled the extension of the original permits beyond 24 km to a large number of transporters in the state. One such order was passed on October 18, cancelling the extension with an immediate effect.
The private transporters had then approached the Tribunal on November 1 against the decision and the latter stayed the October 18 order. The government had challenged the November 1 order in the High Court.
Of these mileage withdrawn on account of repeated/multiple extensions, 19382 KMs are under RTA Bathinda, 43513 KM under RTA Patiala, with 24387 KM under RTA Jalandhar, and 10215 KM under RTA Ferozepur.