State-wide agitation, if robbery of passengers travelling by private bus agencies is not stopped – Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

From Left Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s Mumbai, Thane & Raigad District Coordinator Mr Sagar Chopdar, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s Spokesperson Mr Satish Kochrekar & Complainant against Private Travels Mr Abhishek Murukute

Mumbai – The government has decided that private travel agencies can charge up to one and a half times the price of State Transport Corporation bus tickets; nevertheless, many private travel companies are charging more than double the ticket price, thereby robbing the passengers. To raise this concern, a delegation under the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s ‘Surajya Abhiyan’ (Good Governance Campaign) visited the State Transport Commissioner Dr Avinash Dhakne. Dr Dhakne gave an irresponsible response instead of assuring the complainants. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s Spokesperson Mr Satish Kochrekar during a press conference held at the ‘Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh said “The Minister of Transport should launch an investigation into the Commissioner of Transport and take stern measures against him. The Department of Transport should also take firm action against private travel firms to prevent them from stealing the money from common travellers. Otherwise, the agitation would be launched throughout the state”. Mr Abhishek Murukute, who had filed a complaint against private travel firms, was also present at the press conference.

A couple of demands were made by Hindu Janajagruti’s ‘Surajya Abhiyan’:

  1. The rates set by the government for State buses should be the same for private buses when the tickets are sold.
  2. For such rate issues arising regarding transportation, a helpline number should be provided for registering a complaint.
  3. Strict action should be taken against private bus agencies charging extra amounts from passengers.

‘Take action against the Transport commissioner who supports the unlawful act committed by private travel agencies’

Volunteers from the Surajya Abhiyan made a visit to Transport Commissioner Dr Avinash Dhakne and presented him with a list of the names and evidence of private bus agencies charging high ticket charges. Instead of investigating the issue, the Commissioner did not even read the information provided to him at the time. Instead, he advised the complainants to “go through alternative private bus companies if someone costs you more. We have no control over the pricing set by private bus companies through their websites. We lack the resources to act against them. If we take action against such websites, our workload will increase. We act according to our convenience.”

In the complainant, Mr Satish Kochrekar requested the following to be investigated:

  1. Is Dr Dhakne a Transport Commissioner or a spokesman for private bus agencies that rob the public?
  2. How can the robbery from private bus corporations be stopped if the Transport Commissioner ignores his duties? Does he have any vested interests?
  3. Why is a large salary paid to a commissioner who disregards important tasks due to the increase in workload?

Crores of rupees being looted from lakhs of passengers – Concern raised by Abhishek Murukute

“I used the Red Bus App to book a Mumbai-Kolhapur ticket from Mohan Travels (Ghadge Patil) on May 22, 2022. The ticket price was Rs. 1,995. The State Transport Corporation’s Mumbai-Kolhapur air-conditioned bus cost is Rs. 840. Private Travels can charge up to Rs. 1,260 according to the decision made by the Government. However, I was charged Rs. 735 extra. After this incident, I checked the rates of other private bus firms and discovered that the majority of the bus ticket prices were high. If an additional Rs. 735 is taken from one person, think how many crores of rupees are stolen from millions of passengers across the country. Such a scam should be stopped immediately”. Such a demand was made by Mr Abhishek Murukute.

The open robbery of numerous people travelling through such bus companies is a major concern. Citizens should protest against this. Anyone seeking assistance or further information can call the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s helpline number 8080208958. Such a request was made by Mr Satish Kochrekar.

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