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First come, first serve policy for UP road permits

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi/ Lucknow 

In a major reform move in its public transport system, Uttar Pradesh has announced a policy of "first come, first serve" for the issue of road permits to public carriers on all non-nationalised routes.
The state government has also initiated a process for improvement in public transport infrastructure through public-private partnership and also for a turnaround in the loss-making UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC). Both proposals were endorsed by the state cabinet, which met here today.
Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said the earlier system of issue of permits to private bus owners through the Regional Trap Sort Authority (RTA) was cumbersome and was a breeding ground of corruption.
For the issue of permits, the powers under the Motor Vehicles Act have now been delegated to the Regional Transport Officer (RTO).
Under the new policy, the RTO will issue permits to any transporter who owns a bus and submits an application for the permits along with the required documents on the same day.
There will be no limit on the issue of permits on each non-nationalised route, which would be issued on a first come, first serve basis.
The cabinet secretary said this decision had been necessitated by growth in passenger road traffic in recent years. The public sector UPSRTC was unable to cope with the growing number of passengers with its available fleet of over 6,000 buses.
The government has also ordered a study by the newly constituted infrastructure department to explore the possibility of inviting private investment in the transport sector with the aim of increasing the number of buses plying on nationalised routes and improving facilities at bus stations.
The infrastructure department will hire the services of a private consultancy firm and the study will be completed in the next three months.
The cabinet secretary said the exercise aimed to improve the connectivity between the small town's tehsil headquarters and district headquarters by involving private capital. He said the ultimate aim of the process was to create new employment opportunities.
The cabinet secretary added that there was no proposal for the privatisation of the UPSRTC. The accumulated losses of the PSU transport body were Rs 763 crore by the end of March 2007.

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First Published: Fri, June 22 2007. 00:00 IST