Pathanamthitta: Kerala Minister for Industries P Rajeev said on Wednesday that the proceedings against the private bus named Robin will continue if it operates without required permits. The bus had resumed service from Pathanamthitta to Coimbatore after the court's intervention on Wednesday.
"The motor vehicle department in Tamil Nadu seized the bus because the service was not legal. The people here always praise Tamil Nadu for their business-friendly approach. Why would they seize the bus if there's nothing wrong? The service can be conducted only if it's legal," the minister said.
The bus, which was released by the Coimbatore Central Regional Transport Office, was greeted by fans on its way back to Pathanamthitta on Tuesday. The bus was seized by the RTO for violation of permit conditions. It was released after paying a fine of Rs 10,000. Kerala Motor Vehicle Department officials did not intercept the bus on Tuesday.
The bus resumed service from Pathanamthitta to Coimbatore on Wednesday. The service, which was supposed to start at 5 am, was delayed by two and a half hours due to a minor fault. Many arrived at the private bus stand in Pathanamthitta to welcome the bus. They showed their support for the bus service by waving placards and shouting slogans. The bus left Pathanamthitta with passengers on all seats.
The story so far
The private bus, which had a dispute with the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) regarding the permit, was fined Rs 37,500 by the department several times during its journey to Coimbatore on Saturday. When it reached the Chavadi check post in Tamil Nadu in the evening, the Coimbatore RTO slapped it with a fine of Rs 70,410 including road tax. The TN authorities intercepted the bus once again when it resumed service to Kerala on Sunday. They informed the service operators that the vehicle would be returned if the fine was paid. The bus finally left Coimbatore at 4.45 pm on Tuesday.
A cheerful crowd welcomed the bus when it reached Walayar. Bus owner K Kishore was also with the reception team in Walayar. There were 17 passengers in the bus yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Luxury Bus Owners Association in Kerala has declared that it will call for a strike if the MVD continues to torture its members unnecessarily. The bus owners took the decision after the MVD's action against Robin hit the headlines.