The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Interactive website on anvil

H. Mohan, director, public vehicles department (PVD), met readers of The Telegraph at his office at Beltala to answer their queries. Participants included Sandip Banerjee, Md. Amiruzzaman, Subhomoy Ghosh, Chandrani Ghosh, Saibal Chakrabarty, R.K. Sen and K. Roychowdhury

Md. Amiruzzaman: This office has become overburdened, become overburdened, as it deals with a large number of cases. Why donít you decentralise the system'

We will, soon. We are already working on it. As part of the measure, we will set up kiosks and start our own website to let people know about their dues. The software that will be used in the kiosks is being prepared. Once itís installed, one can ascertain the latest dues position simply by the click of a mouse. The website will be made interactive. By feeding a particular input relating to his identity, a customer can check his dues position even from home.

Subhomoy Ghosh: Weíve heard that conductors, too, should carry a licence. Why do they tend to flee the spot when an accident takes place' Why donít you start a dress code for conductors'

All conductors should have a licence. We keep records of the conductors. Around 4,000 licences are issued each year to conductors by the PVD. Regarding the dress code, we have not thought it over.

The conductors flee after an accident because they fear being lynched if they are caught. They, however, do not get away scot-free. Once a case starts, the police pick up crew members of the bus in course of investigation.

Md. Amiruzzaman: Thereís a lot of fuss over Bharat Stage (BS) II. Can you clarify what itís all about'

We receive a lot of queries about this. One has to keep in mind that BS II norms are for tail-end emission.

The problem now is to identify the two categories of vehicles. There are vehicles that have non-BS II emission, and there are vehicles that have BS II emission.

The ones that do not conform to BS II norms have to gradually shift to this standard.

Let me explain with an example of a vehicle that was bought in 1992. The manufacturers and the government have set definite emission norms for that vehicle. The vehicle should comply to those standards of emission. It has to upgrade itself to the level of BS II within a deadline the government will set.

Weíve stopped issuing licences to autorickshaw operators who are not using green fuel, and, hence, are not complying to BS II norms. We have decided to issue licences only to BS II-compliant autorickshaws in the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) areas.

Subhomoy Ghosh : Why are public buses in such a dilapidated condition' The seats are torn and water seeps through the roof. How do these buses get clearance certificates'

There are around eight lakh vehicles plying on the roads. We have 12 motor vehicle inspectors to check them. Though we try our best to keep a tab on dilapidated vehicles, a few are overlooked at times.

There is a racket that offers new spares, like tyres and seats, to bus owners when they come to us with their vehicles for a fitness certificate. Once the inspection is over, the spares are replaced and worn-out seats are back in place.

Now, we have introduced a system to identify the spares so that they cannot be used repeatedly.

K.Roychowdhury : You impose tough rules for private buses, but why are government buses being spared'

There is a misconception that the PVD monitors government buses as well. The fact is, the transport department has its own set-up to certify its buses. We donít have the authority to monitor them, unless somebody complains to us.

And in that case, too, we forward those complaints to the transport department.


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