Despite strict guidelines from Regional Transport Authority (RTA), several private buses continue to allow hawkers inside their buses, even at busy junctions of the city.
After Moga bus horror, transport authorities had swung into action to crack whip on private buses allowing hawkers to operate inside the buses but situation is back to square one. These hawkers' responsibility is to get a large number of passengers onboard.
According to sources, hawkers are creating huge nuisance not only at the city bus stand but also at the busiest junctions such as Jalandhar bypass, Samrala Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk among other places in the city.
Transport authorities have clearly stated that no hawkers would be allowed to board or accompany buses either at the bus terminal or on roads but flouting norms, a number of private buses can be seen with more than five to seven hawkers accompanying in some of the cases at various junctions of the city including bus stand.
One of the transport officials, requesting anonymity, said most of the hawkers in private buses are basically hooligans and often misbehave and misguide the passengers. They can often be spotted entering into verbal brawls with the passengers. Transport authorities must make a comprehensive provision in order to ensure safe journey for the passengers in public transport.
A passenger at bus stand, Akirti Sharma, said no sooner one reaches the bus stand, hawkers in large numbers surround him or her, attempting to carry luggage while shouting names of various routes. It is extremely unsafe, especially when you are travelling in the night. Concerned authorities must deploy security personnel at the bus stand to keep a check on the menace which has grown manifold lately, she said.
Sources say hawkers not only charge commission from bus owners on the basis of passengers but also sell illegal substances to the conductors, drivers and passengers.
When contacted, Gurmeet Singh, secretary, Regional Transport Authority (RTA), said, “It is difficult to nab the hawkers in the stationary buses. When bus moves out of the bus terminals, they alight instantly. We will work out a strategy soon to nab them and slap fine against the bus owners.”