October 3, 2017
Come festival time and private bus operators seize the opportunity to fleece people. People are forced to shell out a large portion of their hard earned money for their tickets to reach home to be with their dear ones during festival times.
Private bus operators hike the ticket fares even by 100 per cent, knowing well that there are takers for it. The Coimbatore-Chennai and Coimbatore-Bangalore route buses are always full during such times.
Though the Government operates a fleet of buses to clear the extra rush, many passengers do not get tickets to reach homes. Finally they turn to the private operators who even charge Rs. 2000 per ticket.
“We are not sure about the number of days we get leave for the festival. So we are not able to book rail tickets. The chances of getting a ticket through tatkal is very minimal. We are totally dependent on the private buses which charge anything between Rs. 1500 and 2000 for a ticket,” says Vishnu Raj, a student, who is pursuing his Masters degree in Chennai. “I don’t mind staying back with my friends there. We students cannot afford to spend money like this,” he adds.
Nandhini, who works in Chennai, had to pay Rs. 1000 for a ticket to Coimbatore in an ordinary bus. “Usually the cost of a ticket in ordinary non-ac bus is just Rs. 350. But during festival times, operators charge triple the rate. This is the time we can be with our parents. We don’t have any option but to pick up these tickets,” she said.
Another passenger, who didn’t want to be identified, appealed to the Government to step in and lay down rules and regulations. “The Government has to do something about this. People cannot be taken for granted and fleeced like this,” he said.