Ticket prices rise as voting day comes by


Team Udayavani, Mar 14, 2019, 10:43 AM IST

Private buses return to old habits

Mangaluru: There is still a month for the elections; however, private buses have returned back to their old habits and have increased the ticket pricing one-and-a-half times on the Election Day and the days prior and later to it. If one has to cast vote, one will have to visit one’s hometown and thus is compelled to burn one’s wallet.

The state Transport Department has considered this conduct of private bus owners seriously and is planning to serve notice to bus owners who have increased their prices. Besides, it has also come forward to take action against buses indulging in this method of money extortion.

People working in Bengaluru, Mysuru and other regions will return back to their hometowns to cast their votes. Those from north-Karnataka who have come to Karavali for employment will have to return back to their hometowns to cast their vote. This time, since there is a prior and latter holiday to the voting day, there are continuous holidays and hence the plan is already being created. Because of this, a few private bus owners are planning to make hay while the sun shines and have suddenly increased the ticket prices. Criticism to this move is being heard in public circles.

Government bus tickets to maintain status quo

According to KSRTC officials, there has been no increase in ticket pricing for its buses coming from Bengaluru to Mangaluru. In government buses, there are two separate pricing lists pertaining normal days and special days. According to that list, special prices will come into effect from April month onwards. Later, ticket booking will cost an additional 10% charges.

Possibility for even more hike

The election date has just been disclosed and people are booking their seats. After all the seats are booked, additional buses will be deployed and the prices will also be increased. On normal days, the journey from Bengaluru to Mangaluru in a private bus costs Rs 650 to Rs 700. But as the voting days draw closer the prices are being increased to Rs 1,350.

Against the hopes of SVEEP

The district SVEEP committee has aimed for more than 92% of voter turnout in the district this time. It has organised several programmes to spread awareness regarding voting. But, through the drastic increasing of ticket pricing by the private buses, the cost of transportation has increased and hence,  is in opposition to the hopes of the SVEEP committee.

Flight tickets cheaper than bus

A few passengers are saying that flight is better than bus. Currently the flight ticket to Hubballi from Bengaluru is (Apr 17th) Rs 1,952. But the bus ticket from the same destination on the given days is close to an astonishing Rs 4,500. Amidst this, the bus ticket to Mangaluru from Bengaluru on Apr 17th is Rs 1,500 while the flight ticket is approximately Rs 1,829. Travelling through planes is also very time effective. Thus, it is worth noticing that, the situation is such that the expense of flight seems cheaper than a bus ride, for those coming back to their hometown to cast their votes on April 17th.

Let the state government decide the pricing

“Only on few private buses, increased pricing is introduced on special days. The state government must come forward to set a decided pricing for private buses functioning as contract carriages,” said Sadananda Chatra, Spokesperson of Canara Private Bus Owners Association

Will bring to the notice of Transport Commissioner

“Buses plying between districts have increased their pricing and legally we do not have the authority to take action. I will bring this to the attention of the Transport Commissioner,” assured Sasikanth Senthil, DK Deputy Commissioner

Will serve notice

“Earlier, private bus owners had increased the ticket pricing by two-fold during the festive season. They are again repeating this attitude which is being considered seriously. Notice will be served to such buses that extort twice the amount. Operation will be conducted against such buses,” informed D C Tammanna, Transport Minister

Article by Naveen Bhat Ilanthil translated into English by Aaron Dmello

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