Private bus operators pack in passengers fleeing Bengaluru
Not only did they defy the govt order, but they charged three to four times the actual fare
Cashing in on the rush among people to move out of
A passenger, who wanted to go back to Mangaluru owing to the lockdown, was not happy with the way private buses were filling passengers in all seats. “All buses were allowing people to book seats even though the next seat was booked. This is completely against the physical distancing norm that the government talks about. There is a high chance of covid-19 spreading faster in other cities because buses are packed with passengers,” said a software professional. It’s only the KSRTC that left one seat in each row unoccupied following the orders of the state government.
Tuesday also saw a repeat of what happened last year ahead of the state government announcing the lockdown. Bus terminals, toll booths, City’s exit roads were jam-packed with a large number of people rushing to leave Bengaluru, which is plagued with massive covid-19 cases. There were trucks, cars and even two-wheelers packed with cooking pots, luggage and household items, indicating that some do not have a plan to return to the City immediately.
“We cannot afford to stay in the City for 14 days without a job. Hence, we all decided to go back home,” said
Many also complained that the cost of travelling in private buses was as high as flight charges. A journey in an air-conditioned bus to Mumbai from Mangaluru was Rs 5,000. The cost of travelling to North Karnataka from Bengaluru was anywhere between Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,500, which is more than two times the normal fare.
Transport Commissioner N Shivakumar said the officers inspected buses both on Monday and Tuesday to check whether the 50 per cent rule was being followed and to penalise operators who were charging more. The department, however, did not share the data on the number of penalties levied.
For the benefit of employees working in the state and central government departments and essential service sectors, the BMTC will be operating 150 buses during the two-week lockdown. Buses will be available between 6 am and 7 pm.
The corporation will be running the buses on at least 95 routes in the City, mainly from and to
The BMTC will also be running six Vayu