These operators had provided Mercedes, limousines, and some 60 luxury Volvo for conveyance to participants.

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, May 26

Some 40 small travel operators from Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, and Bangalore, are a worried lot, unsure of payment of their bills for providing cars for VVIPs during the ADB meet held during May 3-6.

These operators had provided cars during the ADB meeting where more than 125 Mercedes cars, sleek limousines, and some 60 luxury Volvo buses, part of about 500 vehicles in all, were hired to provide conveyance to participants during their stay in Hyderabad.

The outsourced agency of the ADB's 39th AGM of the board of governors - one of the largest to be held in the country - are yet to pay up their dues.

These small operators have been camping in city hotels, awaiting payment of their bills, totally worth an estimated Rs 3.5 crore.

Mr K. Raghu Ram Reddy of KLR Travels, Hyderabad, Mr Shekhar of Mary's Travels, Chennai and Mr Himesh of Neeta Travels, Mumbai are among those who are now seeking Government intervention.

Mr Reddy told newspersons that the main transportation contract was bagged by ITDC's Ashok Travels. This was outsourced to Royal Travels, a city-based operator.

All the operators had pooled in their vehicles and handed them over to Royal Travels, who was selected as the sub-contractor.

They said that they had no intention of embarrassing anyone, but want their bills settled. They cited similar mega events held in Hyderabad such as the Afro-Asian Games last year and the AICC plenary, in which they faced no problem in receiving payments.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 27, 2006)
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