With commuters getting fleeced by private bus operators during the festive season, passengers and activists want a state authority to regulate their rates.
The All India Passenger Association (AIPA) on Thursday submitted a letter to the CM demanding that a state authority be appointed to regulate rates charged by private bus services.
“In the memorandum to CM, we have requested government to issue guidelines to transport department for controlling the private bus operators’ tariff. The private service charges during peak season are not only exorbitant, but operators also shirk responsibility during failures or accidents,” said Chandrakant Mokal, President of AIPA.
The Pune-based organisation Sahayog Trust has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court, requesting it to restrain private bus operators from increasing their fares during the holiday season.
“We had received lots of complaints about exorbitant fares during the festive season from the passengers. Accordingly, we brought the issue to the notice of authorities concerned. But as there was no reply, we filed a petition in the court,” said Asim Sarode, Pune-based activist, who has filed a PIL seeking that inter-city fares be regulated.
Likewise, consumer activists claimed that unless the regulatory authority is appointed, commuters will continue to be fleeced. “It becomes essential for the government to step in and establish regulatory body that would decide on the tariff, so that the interests of both the service provider and consumers are balanced,” said Achintya Mukherjee, consumer activist.
Transport secretary Shailesh Sharma said, “It is difficult to fix tariffs for private operators. However, the affidavit concerned is being submitted in the high court and the HC has to decide on the issue.” Sharma also asked passengers to report their grievances on existing help lines.