With only a few days left before the start of the last edition of the Indian Premier League, a major problem has arisen: that of transporting players to the match venues. The upset private bus operators have written to the Transport Department and Transport Minister Anil Parab about 30 buses from Delhi for players representing different franchise teams.
They claim that private bus operators in Mumbai were thus denied the opportunity to participate in this IPL, which caused them to lose business. The letter, written by the Federation of Tourist Taxi Operators, a copy of which is with The Free Press Journal, states: “With the new season of IPL 2022 taking place in Maharashtra, bus and car owners have the opportunity to do business. We urge you to intervene and stop other state-registered buses and cars doing point-to-point business in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.”
Dwelling on the issue, Malik Patel, secretary of the Federation of Tourist Taxi Operators, told FPJ: “Tour buses and cars operating in Maharashtra with national permits have to pay taxes, which vehicles registered in other states do not have to pay. So, while we had given a quote of Rs 18,000 per bus for 24 hours; franchise teams apparently got it for around Rs 12,000 per bus for the same period. Now at least 30 buses from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are here, playing cricketers from different IPL teams. It is certainly a great loss for carriers and operators here.
Bus operators say they have suffered huge losses in the Covid pandemic as business has stalled. It’s only recently that the wheels have started turning for them as there are weddings, conferences and other events taking place. “Vehicles registered in Delhi do not have to pay taxes, just the weekly tax when entering the Maharashtra border and driving around towns,” the sources said.
As the vehicles are registered under All India Tourist Permits, they are intended for use in interstate travel and are permitted to pick up passengers in their respective states and drop them off in other states. They cannot conduct point-to-point business in a state other than their state of registration. But the scenario here is different, according to bus operators, with buses and cars registered in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh making local journeys in Mumbai, Pune and Navi Mumbai.
Meanwhile, earlier last week, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) smashed the windows of at least one of the luxury buses parked outside a five-star hotel, which was to transport IPL players to matches. Half a dozen activists from the MNS-Vahatuk Sena (transportation wing) stuck posters of their demands on the front of the bus, waved slogans and started smashing the windows.
Sanjay Naik, chairman of MNS Vahatuk Sangh, said: “They protested as out-of-state buses were hired for this purpose, depriving residents of employment opportunities. This IPL is a business, not a tourist activity, so it is false”.
However, there has been no response from IPL franchisees on this.
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 11:25 p.m. IST