Notwithstanding the government's tall claims of ensuring convenient journey in buses in the state, more people are complaining about the misbehaviour of staff in both the private as well as the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses.
Though the HRTC had officially launched a helpline (9459000529) on September 11 it has been functional on trial basis since July. In the past two months, this helpline received over 300 complaints, majority of which related to misbehavior of the bus staff in both the HRTC and the private buses.
Though the helpline was meant for complaints against HRTC buses, people travelling in private buses have also been complaining on this number regarding their grievances.
An HRTC official monitoring the helpline said that of the over 300 complaints, nearly 130 were serious and these were forwarded to regional managers concerned for redressal while the rest of them were sorted out immediately.
“Most of the complaints were regarding misbehaviour on the part of staff of both the private as well as HRTC buses,” he said, while requesting anonymity.
He said the helpline number received significant number of complaints regarding ticket issues.
“Most of the commuters complained about misbehavior on the part of conductor when they ask for tickets. In private buses, passengers complain, the conductor does not give them tickets while charging full fare,” said the HRTC official.
Cases of misbehaviour mostly related to ticket issues and in Shimla town, people complained about violation of time table by private bus operators.
Transport director RN Batta, who also holds the charge of managing director (MD) of HRTC, said that the helpline was started in July and formally launched and approved by the board of directors on September 11. “We have received a good response and people are finding it easy to lodge their complaints on our helpline number and we have sorted several complaints on the spot,” said Batta.
Though commuters have been dialling the helpline, but a majority of people are not aware about this initiative. Neither HRTC nor any other agency has properly advertised about this helpline. HRTC has not even displayed the number in its buses.
Though the transport department has directed all bus drivers to get the number of the officials concerned displayed inside the bus, majority of them have not abided by its directive.
He said several conductors do not give ticket to the passengers and the transport department has been inspecting the buses from time to time. “People should also ask for ticket because it is their right and if the conductor refuses to give ticket, passenger can complain to authorities,” he added.
In Shimla, majority of private bus conductors do not give ticket and misbehave with the passengers who ask for give tickets. Summer Hill resident Man Singh Thakur said, “I usually travel from Summer Hill to the old bus stand at Shimla. Whenever I ask for ticket, the conductor behaves rudely”.
NATURE OF COMPLAINTS
--Misbehaviour of bus staff
--Conductor not giving tickets
--Overcharging by conductor
--Driver violating traffic rules, talking over phone while driving
--Violation of time table