Fiji Labour Party has called on the Lands Transport Authority (LTA) to immediately uplift the suspension of the road service licence of Empire Buses in Ba.
Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said that during his visit to Ba last week-end people had complained that the operator to whom a temporary licence has been issued is unable to provide satisfactory service because of a lack of buses to fully cover the entire route.
I am informed that Empire Buses were servicing the route with 15 buses whereas the current operator has allocated only 5 buses. As a consequence, many sections of the route are not being fully serviced causing great inconvenience to the travelling public.
“I have been told that not even a single defect notice was served on the bus company immediately prior to the suspension of its licence. Nineteen buses were taken off the road – all with valid certificates of road worthiness,” said Mr Chaudhry.
The suspension cannot be justified in such a situation and there are allegations that it was set up by certain LTA officials.
“My inquiries have revealed that certain senior officials of LTA had engaged in what appears to be planned harassment of Empire Buses before unilaterally suspending its operating licence.,” said Mr Chaudhry.
There are reports that the same officials are aligning themselves with a certain bus operator in return for favours. These allegations must be investigated and appropriate action taken against those found guilty.