Pathanamthitta: The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has imposed another fine on the private bus Robin, which defiantly resumed its service following a court order against the department's earlier seizure of the vehicle. MVD officials intercepted the Pathanamthitta-Coimbatore service bus four times on Saturday.
The bus was first stopped merely 100 metres away from the Pathanamthitta bus stand and slapped with a fine of Rs 7,500 on the charge of violating permit conditions. The bus was intercepted once again in Pala but the vehicle was released following a protest by local residents. It was stopped in Ernakulam's Angamaly and Thrissur's Puthukattu later.
Bus owner Baby Gireesh of Parayil in Idamaruk near Pala, said that he will challenge the issue in court, questioning the MVD's authority to supersede the court. He added that he was determined to resist the Transport Minister's obstinacy. The bus experienced a delay of half an hour due to the inspection. The owner accompanied the vehicle until Coimbatore.
This incident follows the cancellation of the fitness certificate of the bus during an MVD inspection in Ranni on September 1. The bus passed a subsequent fitness test and resumed service 45 days later on October 16. But, the vehicle faced another inspection at Ranni, resulting in a court intervention that ordered its release back to the owner.
Among the lapses that were cited include the use of a thinner viper blade, loose mud flap screw, releasing of air while applying breaks and wear and tear of rubber underneath footrest.
Gireesh said he became an entrepreneur by taking over the Erumely-Ernakulam Express bus service in 1999 and expanded to 11 bus services across Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts.
He was forced to sell off five buses in 2014 when the government decided to take over long-haul services. The Covid outbreak dealt yet another blow as Gireesh had no other option but to sell his remaining buses except the Erumely-Ernakulam flagship service. He has now launched the Pathanamthitta-Coimbatore service by purchasing a new bus.