By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
A study which was conducted by the National Transport Commission (NTC) concerning the relevance of the semi-luxury class bus service, would be handed over to the Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera,by the end of this week, the ministry said.
The officials said the minister had drawn his attention to the termination of the semi-luxury class bus service.
“About 400 buses were operating on this service. Before terminating the service, it is relevant to consider the party which is responsible for assigning those buses to service,” the Minister had said.
The NTC has also advised to have discussions and to look into alternatives on how to assign the buses if the semi-luxury bus service was terminated. The issue was raised again following complaints that a normal service bus had made higher charges claiming it was a semi-luxury bus service.
Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had earlier requested an immediate report from the National Transport Commission (NTC) over the allegations that persons travelling from Nuwara-Eliya to Colombo on Saturday in a normal service bus had to pay more, as that particular private bus had over-charged them claiming to be a semi-luxury one.
“This bus belonged to the normal service category and it was issued with a temporary route permit to operate between Nuwara-Eliya and Colombo. A normal service bus charges Rs.185 from passengers from Gampola to Colombo. However, the passengers were charged Rs.278 which is said to be the fare of a Semi-luxury service,” ministry sources said.
Although, Rs.175 is usually charged from passengers who are travelling from Peradeniya to Colombo in a normal service bus this bus had charged Rs.251.
“This bus had made a serious breach of law,” the minister said.
Therefore, he had requested an immediate report on the bus before cancelling its route permit. Also, the minister demanded who was responsible for issuing a semi-luxury service route permit to a normal service bus.
The bus had not paid the least attention to providing the facilities similar to the semi-luxury service. This shows that the semi-luxury service has been swindling the public by providing sub-standard service.