The festival of Ganesh might just bring in relief from hiked bus fares heading to Konkan from Mumbai.
With more than 88 special trains running to Konkan especially for Ganpati festival, the private bus owners rue the chances of increasing fares of buses running on this route.
There has been a practice by the private bus owners to hike fares to Goa and Konkan during Ganesh festival by Rs 200.
"The railways have introduced several train services to Konkan for Ganesh festival. Buses are always the second option and so this leaves us with little scope for increasing the fares," said a private bus operator.
Private bus operators who run Volvos and other air-conditioned buses to the Konkan take advantage in case there is slightest swell in demand.
In July, when train services to Konkan were severely disrupted and trains cancelled, the private bus operators and agents selling rail tickets connecting Konkan, increased the prices by multi-folds.
“We are charging the same rate as charged by state transport buses for their air-conditioned Volvo buses. The rates only differ for services that start from Borivli and Bhandup where there are bulk bookings,”said Milind Naik of Smit Chitra.
There are 76 special trains to the Konkan belt introduced by Konkan Railway as compared to 68 run last year.
Even the Central Railway introduced 8 special trains while Western Railway will run 4 special trains to Konkan up to Madgaon.
The special trains have started running from September 3, with some going right up to Karwar till September 25.
These would have starting points from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Bandra Terminus.
Meanwhile Swabhimaan Sanghathana, operated by Revenue minister Narayan Rane's son Nitesh Rane sent a letter to several private bus operators asking them not to increase bus fares to Konkan during Ganesh festival.
They claim that bus tickets that normally cost Rs 300-400, goes as high as Rs 800 during this period.