Waive toll or we hike fee by 500: School bus operators

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 13 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The School Bus Owners Association has demanded relief in toll tax for school buses across the state. If not granted, the association has threatened to hike bus fees. A delegation of school bus owners will meet state ministers on Monday.

This threat to hike bus fees has parents a tad worried. Dadar resident Rajesh P, whose child studies at a school in Bandra, said that a hike in school bus fee will not be affordable at this point. "The association should sort out its problems with the government amicably," he said.

Another parent said schools "anyway raise fees on various grounds" and another hike will burden them further.

Anil Garg of SBOA said they have already conveyed to state officials to grant relief to bus operators who ferry students daily. "Many of our buses ply between two cities. Buses from Mulund or Chembur in Mumbai cross over to Airoli or Vashi in Navi Mumbai. Sometimes, our buses cross toll nakas six times in a day. These buses pass through tollposts and pay a hefty monthly toll," said Garg, adding that school buses must be given a special exemption at all five checkpoints to Mumbai.

Garg said that a representation will be made before the government on Monday. "If the government does not waive toll for school buses, we will have to charge students at least Rs 500 extra for bus fees. The government will be responsible for any such hike."

He said the government must take a sympathetic view in the interest of students.

Recently, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the government had stopped charging toll at 12 plazas in the state and from May 31, exemption would be given to light vehicles, cars, jeeps and state transport buses at 53 toll nakas across the state. The exemption was, however, not given to buses run for commercial operations and school buses. This has angered the bus operators.

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