The Andhra Pradesh Transport Department on Thursday seized six buses and slapped a fine of Rs 24,000 on each of them after the bus operators were found to be charging excessive fares and fleecing passengers.
As part of an ongoing drive, raids were conducted at the Keesara toll plaza, besides the toll gate at Gottipadu and the check post at Garikapadu.
Officials said that with many people travelling for Dasara holidays, bus operators were trying to make a quick buck by increasing the ticket prices steeply in violation of the rules.
The ongoing strike by employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) only seems to have further pushed up ticket prices.
"We have been verifying private buses for the past five days. We are filing cases on those operators collecting excessive fares. Till now, 495 cases have been filed and 6 buses have been seized while 2 buses are seized for non-payment of taxes. Each bus has been imposed with a fine of Rs 24,000. We have orders to continue raids till Deepavali," an official of the Transport Department was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Telangana, the strike by TSRTC employees continued for the sixth continuous day.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC), spearheading the strike by over 48,000 employees, made it clear that they will not resume their duties until the government accepts their major demands.
The TSRTC continued operating bus services in Hyderabad and other parts of the state with the help of temporary drivers and other staff.
Meanwhile, the Telangana High Court on Thursday asked the unions of striking employees to file a counter-affidavit on the strike before October 15. The court adjourned the hearing on a petition, which sought a court direction to the government and the unions to resolve the problem so that the common man was not inconvenienced.
The government, in its affidavit, informed the court that it has made alternate arrangements to ensure that the general public does not face any hardships due to the strike.