Interstate bus operators add to blueline woes in Delhi
Abhishek Behl, www.merinews.com
While the Blueline buses in Delhi have terrorized the people on roads by killing many of them, there is another set of bus operators working clandestinely and giving sleepless nights to interstate travellers.
THE ORDEAL for an interstate traveller particularly those travelling to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir starts as soon as he reaches Lal Quila, the abode of former Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and now the front office of a number of travel operators having offices in the vicinity. Within seconds of reaching the place, the gullible travellers are hounded by the touts of different travel agents, who offer you the latest rates for buses to different cities.
Risking their lives to catch hold of the potential customers, these youngsters do not mind jumping head on to the rickshaws and cars and luring the customers towards their travel agencies. Mind you; there is no fixed fare for a journey, a person can be made to pay double the amount paid by someone in the adjacent seat and traveling the same distance.
Recently during a trip, Rakesh Sharma, a Delhi based businessman talking to merinews said that he was made to pay twice the amount which was charged from the gentleman sitting next to him. The issue here is not only the money but the manner in which the passengers are treated with royal disdain without any care for their comfort.
As no bus timings are followed by these travel operators, the passengers are made to sweat in the heat and grime of Chandni Chowk’s pollution. Recounting her experience of a horrendous bus yatra on way to the Vaishno Devi Shrine, Pallavi Sharma, said that they boarded the bus at 8 pm in evening and were excited to leave for Jammu.
However, the hurry to leave Delhi turned into an endless wait as the bus operator refused to budge from the place till all the seats were filled up. “We heaved a sigh of relief as the bus started moving but to our horror the bus continued to move about suspiciously on the roads of Delhi,” she said, adding that it was only after the driver picked up passengers from Majnu Ka Tila that it started its journey outside Delhi.
Torment for the passengers did not end here, her sister Puja said, “Instead of taking the highway the bus driver decided to take a detour via Bhalswa dairy which was another horrible experience. There being a huge garbage dump in the area the stench was unbearable,” she added. Here it must be mentioned that majority of the buses operating on the Jammu-Delhi route are doing so without valid papers.
This is one of the reasons that some of the drivers take roads where even angels fear to tread, says Mohd Shahid of Delhi, while recounting his experience of travelling from Jammu to Delhi in private bus. The bus started from Lal Quila and after traversing through various Delhi routes took state highways which are not on the routine map.
The bus passed through Ludhiana, took Rahon Machiwara route and passed through similar routes, and all this he said was done perhaps to avoid the authorities. Not averse to putting the lives of passengers in danger, these drivers often indulge in rash driving in order to cover the time which has been often wasted while looking out for passengers.
A veteran traveller on this route, Amarjit Singh said that drivers often try to cover as much as 250 kms in two hours during the night which often proves to be fatal on the Indian roads. Asking the government to come down heavily on these operators, he demanded that authorities should put a check on the movement of interstate buses run by private operators.
He, however, also said that there were some scrupulous travel operators also, who are playing by the book and ensure the comfort of the bus passenger.
Tags: Blueline Buses , Deaths , Operators , Bus
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