Panaji: Private bus operators here have strongly opposed Goa government`s move to run their vehicles on contract basis through the state-run corporation, alleging that it was "a ploy to finish" their business.
Goa government is in the process of forming a scheme to take over the private buses and run them through state funded Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) while paying bus owners compensation on per kilometre basis.
All Goa Private Bus Owners Association (AGPBOA), which met today in Panaji, has decided to oppose the move.
There are more than 1,500 private buses plying across length and breadth of the state.
Two BJP legislators are forcing private bus owners to give up their business to the KTCL management, AGPBOA general secretary Sudip Tamankar alleged.
"The opposition for the scheme is because the private bus owners are being pressurised," he told reporters.
He claimed that KTCL has been financially in the red since long and surviving on governmnet funding.
"What will they do with our buses once it is taken over? They want to finish the entire private bus trade," Tamankar alleged.
The government scheme, which is yet to be notified, has offered a rate of Rs 32 per km with the minimum of 200 kms per day for the bus. The bus owners will have to employ drivers and pay for diesel and maintenance.
Tamankar alleged that the private bus owners are facing acute loses due to the `pass system` introduced by government for KTCL.
The passengers opt for KTCL buses due to low fares.
Meanwhile, a state transport department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, rubbished the allegations of private bus owners claiming that no one was being pressurised to give up the business.
"The private bus owners had voluntarily offered to allow KTCL run their buses. What government did was to accept their request," he added.