From the names, it sounds like these are travels companies run by these leaders. But that’s not the case. These are simply buses running on the roads of Uttar Pradesh flaunting the names of these leaders so that they can flout traffic rules.
Popularly known as ‘neta’ buses, they run primarily in Agra & Firozabad & result in a lot of traffic menace. These are buses which usually do not have the required documents but by claiming such political connections they have had a free-run.
These buses number 70 in Agra & more than 200 in Firozabad. They’ve used the names of these leaders to get away with traffic & other violations. When caught by transport department sleuths, these operators boast of their ‘links’ with these politicians & get away with impunity. “Yeh bus netaji ke gaon ki hai. Challan kata toh phone mila denge,” are some of the common replies of these bus drivers.
Also, these buses acted as a mobile method of advertising for these politicians in the state. According to officials of Agra Roadways, these buses, which are operating on major routes, are causing a loss of almost 30-35% revenue to the transport department.
But with the new government in the state, this is also coming to an end. Transport officials have begun a clampdown against these buses by starting to penalize them. The officials have been given clear instructions that these buses should eventually be removed from the roads.
What’s worth noticing is that during the rule of the SP government, no measure was taken to stop these buses. Whether Mulayam was truly involved behind the scenes in helping these buses ply on UP roads can’t be said for sure, but simply letting these buses run, letting them create inconvenience for other travellers, & allowing them to cost the exchequer heavily shows how the SP was an ‘all-weather’ friend for all those who break laws.
CM Yogi Adityanath recently said in his speech in Parliament that a lot more ‘bandi’ would take place in Uttar Pradesh. We’re seeing how illegal slaughterhouses are being shut, how gutka & paan has been banned from government offices, & now this which is also a kind of ‘bandi’. As it is UP roads are in terrible condition, & removing these buses from the roads of Agra & Firozabad will not only mean traffic violations coming down but also better safety for the regular compliant traveller.