More than 4,000 school bus operators in Calcutta and adjoining areas have requested chief minister Mamata Banerjee to waive fines on lapsed fitness certificates and road tax as they have been out of business for over seven months.

On Wednesday (, the government had announced waiver of fines on lapsed fitness certificates, driving license and road permits from January 1 for all vehicles and asked owners to pay the fees by June 30, 2021.

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Even though the government’s waiver is meant for all vehicles, including commercial ones, there is no clear mention of contract carriage bus operators who run school buses.

A school bus operator said, “We have been paying road tax of around Rs 4,000 for every quarter even though private bus and minibus owners have stopped because of the government's relaxations. Neither the schools nor the guardians are ready to pay even half the amount that we had requested for. How do school bus owners survive?”

“We hope the chief minister will look into our problems and find a way out. She has been very sympathetic towards bus and minibus operators,” he added.

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In August, the state government had waived all taxes for bus and minibus owners till September 30 and also the annual component of the permit fee bringing to bus operators a relief of around Rs 2,000 for each bus. School buses did not get that relief.