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Coronavirus crisis: Private bus operators affected due to pandemic demand relief from Delhi govt

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New Delhi, Aug 06: Several private bus operators in the national capital have sought relief from the Delhi government in the wake of losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying 65-70 per cent of their vehicles are still off roads.

Arvind Kejriwal

Claiming that "the whole ecosystem stands the risk of collapse," the Delhi Contract Bus Association office-bearers, in a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, urged for waiver of road tax from April to December this year.

The association represents contract carriage and all India tourist bus operators catering to schools, offices, national and multinational companies and tourists.

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"The transport operators are under acute financial strain and about 65-70 per cent of their vehicles are still off the road. In the present critical situation of the trade, the bus operators are devastated. The situation is aggravated by depletion of their finances in meeting obligations like staff salaries, taxes and interest on EMIs," said the association general Harish Sabharwal.

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    "In sync with your government's endeavours to help the citizens of the state during these tough times and to provide them the much-needed relief, it is earnestly requested to your good self to issue needful directions to the Transport Department in this regard," said the letter to the chief minister, requesting a tax waiver.

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    Due to the pandemic, the financial crisis in the passenger transport segment has reached its peak. Unless the governments provide the timely and necessary support to the sector, the whole ecosystem stands the risk of collapse.

    Domestic and international tourism is at a standstill due to the pandemic and hence there is no earning for tourist buses as well. Office goers are working from home, IT-sector, multinational and national organizations are still closed. There is no revenue generation and financial inflows as mostly payments from business houses and companies are restrained and existing finances with small bus operators as well as that of big bus operators are depleting fast.

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