The Bombay High Court suggested that Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) consider a pilot project to modernise the bus stands by providing WiFi service, private canteens and better toilets to lure passengers away from private bus operators.
“If you provide these facilities, then you will generate revenue which will reduce the mounting losses,” the division bench of Justices N H Patil and A A Sayed said.
The court observed that the state-run buses are not clean, toilets at the bus stands are in a pathetic condition and these things dissuade people from using the MSRTC buses.
The suggestions were made during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by advocate Datta Mane which says that in 2001 the Aurangabad bench of the High Court had passed an order directing action against illegal private operators but no action has been taken.
MSRTC is incurring huge losses due to private operators, especially in rural areas where private jeeps and mini-buses eat into its business, it says.
These illegal operators park their vehicles near MSRTC stops in violation of Motor Vehicles Act. However the authorities are not acting against them, the PIL says.
The court today also asked the government to ensure strict compliance of Motor Vehicle rules which prohibit parking of private buses within 200 meters of a state bus stand and check licenses/permits of private vehicles which ply passengers.