55. 1[ Procedure in considering application for public carrier' s permit.
A Regional Transport Authority shall, in considering an application for a public carrier' s permit, have regard to the following matters, namely:-
the interests of the public generally;
the advantages to the public of the service to be provided and the convenience afforded to the public by the provision of such service and the saving of time likely to be effected thereby;
the adequacy of other goods services operating or likely to operate in the near future, whether by road or other means, between the places to be served;
the operation by the applicant of other transport services, including those in respect of which applications from him for permits are pending;
the benefit to any particular locality or localities likely to be afforded by the service;
the condition of the roads included in the proposed area or route;
the nature of the goods to be carried with special reference to any of a fragile or perishable nature;
the volume of traffic and the existence of marketing centers in the proposed area or along or near the proposed route; and shall also take into consideration any representations made by persons already providing goods transport facilities by any means, whether by road or otherwise, in the proposed area or along or near the proposed route, or by any local authority or police authority within whose jurisdiction any part of the proposed area or route lies: Provided that other conditions being equal, an application for a public carrier' s permit from a co- operative society registered or deemed to have been registered under any enactment in force for the time being 2[ and an application for a public carrier' s permit from a person who has a valid licence for driving transport vehicles] shall as far as may be, be given preference over applications from individual owners.
2[ The Government of a State shall reserve in that State certain percentage of public carriers' permits for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
The Government of a State may, having regard to the extent to which persons belonging to economically weaker sections of the community have been granted public carriers' permits in that State,-
reserve in that State such percentage of public carriers' permits, as may be prescribed, for persons belonging to economically weaker sections of the community; or
notwithstanding anything contained in the proviso to sub- section (1), give preference, in such manner as may be prescribed, to applications for public carriers' permits from such persons.
The provisions of sub- sections (1B), (1D), (1F) and (1G) of section 47 shall apply to or in relation to the grant of public carriers' permits under this section as they apply to or in relation to the grant of stage carriage permits under that section.]
A Regional Transport Authority may, having regard to the matters mentioned in sub- section (1), limit the number of transport vehicles generally or of any specified type for which public carrier' s permits may be granted in the region or in any specified area or on any specified route within the region.]