Pvt bus owners to move HC against insurance firms

kolkata: Private bus operators have decided to approach Calcutta High Court if insurance payment exempted by state Transport department for the 46-day lockdown period is not approved by insurance companies.

"We have submitted all the required documents to avail insurance payment exemption benefits but most of the companies are not approving it. We will wait till November 15. After that, we will file a PIL in Calcutta High Court," said Pradip Narayan Bose, secretary of West Bengal Bus and Minibus Owners' Association.

On August 10, state Transport department issued no-use certificate to exempt insurance payment of state carriage public passenger transport vehicles during lockdown period between May 16 and June 30 this year.

In a bid to avail the exemption of insurance payment, owners of private buses and other vehicles under the category of state carriage public passenger transport vehicles should submit application at their respective regional transport offices (RTO).After approval of the no-use certificate by RTO, vehicle owners will show it to the insurance company to avail the benefit.

"Just before Durga Puja this year, we have written a letter to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority urging it to instruct insurance companies to exempt insurance payment. On March 27, 2020, we have also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking exemption of EMI of buses from March last year till the situation normalises, reduction of diesel price, bus fare hike, waiver of insurance premium and withdrawal of toll tax for private buses. We have not yet received any response from them," said Tapan Banerjee, general secretary of Joint Council of Bus Syndicates.

He reiterated that private bus owners have to pay Rs 65,000 - Rs 68,000 yearly insurance for running vehicles in the city. Long distance buses have to pay Rs 80, 000 – Rs 1, 20, 000 yearly insurance.

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