Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Saturday issued new conditions that need to be followed by private bus companies and booking centres to obtain a licence. The motor vehicle department has also instructed officials to ensure certain conditions are met while issuing or renewing a License Agent for Private Transport (LAPT).  The licence holder should be above the age of 18 and should have a police clearance certificate.

According to the new condition issued by the state government, the booking centres must have a minimum area of 150 square feet. The room should have a seating capacity of at least 10. It must contain a toilet, cloakroom with locker facility, drinking water and CCTV system with six-month backup. The data of the passengers should be saved in a specific format and should be maintained for at least a year.

The circular issued on Saturday said no booking office should function within 500 metres of KSRTC bus stands. The RTO, Kerala Police and women helpline numbers should be displayed in the office along with the License Agent for Private Transport (LAPT) certificate.

The bus should stop at every 50 km at a location with refreshment and toilet facilities. And the tickets which will be issued to the customers should have details including the vehicle number, telephone numbers of staff and customer care and helpline numbers. The name of the booking office and the licence should be visibly displayed outside the office.

The service providers should also ensure a boarding place without disturbing other vehicles or passengers. They should also have the facility to accommodate three big passenger vehicles within 5 kms of the booking office. The location of the vehicles should be shared digitally on the ticket. The phone number of the bus staff should also be shared on the ticket.

As per the new guidelines, the owner of the bus service should submit a three-month return with the RTA secretary.

The conditions also include that no illegal substances or materials should be transported in the vehicles. The licence holder or the operator should have the facility to provide another vehicle if one of the vehicles breaks down en route.

These conditions were undertaken following the attack on two passengers by Kallada Travels staff. On April 21, two passengers travelling from Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru were thrashed by staffers of the Travels company. The staffers allegedly even threw them out of the bus. The department has collected around Rs 40,000 as fine against the violations.