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Private bus operators in Pune fleece passengers ahead of Ganesh festival

Passengers travelling from Pune to their home towns to celebrate Ganesh festival were forced to pay exorbitantly high rates to the private bus operators on Thursday. 

pune Updated: Aug 25, 2017 17:05 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Ganesh festival,Pune,Private bus operators
Passengers travelling from Pune to their home towns to celebrate Ganesh festival are forced to pay exorbitantly high rates to private bus operators on Thursday.(RAHUL RAUT/HT PHOTO)

Cashing in on the festive season, private bus operators from the city have doubled the ticket rates on various routes including Pune- Goa, Pune-Nagpur, Pune-Amravati and Pune-Aurangabad.

Passengers travelling from Pune to their home towns to celebrate Ganesh festival were forced to pay exorbitantly high rates to the private bus operators on Thursday.

The team Hindustan Times that visited the private bus ticket booking centres in Shivajinagar, JM Road and near Swargate found that the AC sleeper bus fares from Pune to Goa have gone up from the normal rate of ₹1,000 to ₹1,200 to ₹2,000 to ₹2,500.Similarly, the fares on the Pune-Nagpur route for AC sleeper buses have touched ₹2,500 to ₹2,700 from their rate of ₹1,200.The Pune-Amravati route bus ticket rate is ₹2,500 against ₹1,000 on normal days and Pune-Aurangabad route is ₹1,200 as compared to ₹500 for AC seater buses.

Officials from a bus booking centre in Shivajinagar said, “The traffic on the Pune-Nagpur, Pune-Amravati and Pune-Mumbai routes is always high during the festive season. Due to very high demand the ticket rates have gone up. Even with these increased fares the demand has not gone down. The fare will dip a little once the festival begins."

A student Pranit Raut said, “Private bus operators are charging exorbitantly high rates. I wanted to travel to Nagpur for Ganesh festival for which I will have to shell out a lot more. As I wanted to reach on the first day of the festival, I have no choice but to pay more than double for the bus ticket."

“I was planning to travel to Goa with my family to my relatives’ place. As the private bus operators are charging very high rates, we have decided to go by a private car,” Trupti Shetty said.

Shetty said that private operators have always been hiking ticket rates during festive seasons. “I usually prefer travelling by train to Goa and book the train tickets in advance. As we planned this trip late, we faced a lot of inconvenience and private bus operators charging exorbitant rates was a dampener,” she said.

Regional transport officer, Pune, Babasaheb Ajari clarified that even as the private operators are charging exorbitantly high ticket rates, there are no regulations under which action can be taken against them.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is plying 148 additional buses on several routes, including Pune- Konkan, Pune-Aurangabad and Pune-Nagpur, a state transport utility official said.

Bus rates on August 24

AC sleeper bus- Pune- Goa- ₹2,000-2500

AC sleeper bus- Pune-Nagpur- ₹2,500 to Rs 2700

AC sleeper bus- Pune- Amravati- ₹2,500

AC seater bus- Pune- Aurangabad- ₹1,200

AC seater bus- Pune- Mumbai- ₹475

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 16:57 IST