CHENNAI: With Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh at loggerheads over operation of buses without valid documents, people travelling to and from both States for Pongal were the worst affected. On January 14, vehicles entering Vellore district from Andhra were inspected by officials at RTO checkpost on Katpadi – Chittoor road.
During the inspection, it came to light that five buses of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) had no documents such as RC book, insurance and the drivers did not have valid driving licenses. Following this, the buses were seized.When contacted, APSRTC officials were told by the transport officials to produce valid documents for releasing the buses.
In a tit-for-tat move, the next day 50 buses bearing TN registration numbers were detained by Andhra transport officials for similar violations. Out of the 50, over 25 were private buses and the remaining belonged to Villupuram and Tiruchy Corporations of TNSTC and SETC. This led to over 500 commuters being stranded and after several hours, people travelling to TN were allowed to continue the journey in alternate buses. Upon being informed, TN transport officials contacted the Andhra government, which led to the release of private buses and a few SETC buses. However, 16 buses of Villupuram and Tiruchy Divisions of TNSTC were detained and cases registered.
After several hours of negotiations, it was decided to release buses from both sides upon fulfilment of administrative procedures and the 16 TN buses were released on Sunday.“In Tamil Nadu, transport undertakings are administered under the MDs of respective corporations and RTOs function under Transport Commissioner separately. However, in AP, buses and RTOs function under single administration. We have convinced the AP government explaining the financial crisis faced by the Corporations,” said a transport official.