Passengers were in a for a shock on Monday when they were told that the reduced fares of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses were yet to be implemented.
Many conductors and drivers told HT that on some routes passengers argued with them when they charged the usual rate. The Delhi government had announced in December that the fares of DTC buses will be slashed by 75% for a month from January 1 to 31, to encourage Delhiites to use public transport.
“At least a dozen people have asked me about the deducted fare. Some even argued with me and threatened me. We did not get any information to charge less from passengers, then how can we take less money from them?” said a conductor on the RL-77 route, which goes from Madhu Vihar in southwest Delhi to the New Delhi Railway Station.
Others also complained of facing similar problems with passengers.
Thirty three-year-old Mahavir Yadav said a woman showed her a clipping of a newspaper to prove her point. She told him that the government had announced that a flat fare of R5 for all the low floor non-AC (green) and cluster (orange) buses and R10 for the low floor AC (maroon) buses will be implemented, starting Sunday.
“Soon a crowd gathered supporting her and I did not know what to do. I told her that the deducted fares might be implemented in a few days,” Yadav said.
HT had reported on Monday that it might take another week for the implementation of the deducted fares in DTC buses. The government has sought comments from different departments on slashing the fares and they are waiting for a review before the file is finally sent to the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) for approval.
The delay has left the DTC in a fix as on the one hand, passengers are asking for cheaper fares during their journeys and on the other, the corporation has received no orders as yet to implement the scheme.
“Even if passengers are demanding 75% lower tickets, from where will our conductor give them? The DTC has not received the notification yet. Our usual rates are continuing as of now,” said a DTC official.
The move is also leading to confusion among conductors and drivers, said a depot manager. “We have got a lot of enquiries from conductors and even some bus drivers on the issue. They are being told to charge as per the normal fare chart,” a depot manager said on condition of anonymity.
A government official said that the file is still out at various departments for their comments on the issue.
“Why did the government have to make such announcements if they cannot deliver? If you can publicise the deducted fares then you should also let the people know when there is some delay. There is so much confusion around this,” said Mayur Sinha, a passenger at Mathura Road.