Looting of passengers on the occasion of Shri Ganesh festival continues; when will the Government take action against the ‘Online booking App’ ? – Surajya Abhiyan’s question to the Government
On the occasion of Shri Ganesh festival, lakhs of Shri Ganesh devotees are leaving for their hometowns. Taking advantage of this, Ganesh devotees and passengers are being robbed on a large scale through ‘Red Bus’, ‘Make My Trip’ and other private travel booking Apps. While there is a Government order to charge one and a half times more passenger fare as compared to State Transport (ST) buses, private passenger bus operators are charging double, triple and sometimes quadruple fares from passengers. On the one hand, the Transport Department has issued a WhatsApp number 8850783643 for complaints, so that passengers are not robbed during Shri Ganesh festival; but in today’s online era, 80 to 90 percent of vehicle reservations are made online through private passenger ticket booking Apps; however, it is seen that the State Transport Department is not paying attention to it. The Hon. Chief Minister Mr Eknath Shinde should take initiative immediately to eliminate the problem of online looting of Shri Ganesh devotees. A demand to this effect has been made on behalf of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s Surajya Abhiyan.
An application in this regard has been made to the Transport Minister and Chief Minister, Transport Secretary, Transport Commissioner. Due to continuous struggle for the last few years, the Transport Department has issued complaint numbers, passenger fare sheets at some places. A few years ago, as per Bombay High Court order, the Transport Department issued a Government order increasing the fare by one and half times; but it was not implemented for many years. Complaints were lodged with the Transport Department by carrying out State-wide agitations and campaigns against it through Surajya Abhiyan. Representation was made to the then Transport Commissioner Dr. Avinash Dhakne. Discussion is also going on with present Transport Commissioner Mr. Vivek Bhimannavar.
Navi Mumbai Sub-Regional Transport Department has announced Ratnagiri to Navi Mumbai Government tariff only; but what about passengers from other regions ? Further, under the name of surge pricing (increase in demand), how come the ticket prices of private buses on online apps are quadrupled as compared to regular ones ? For example Government has fixed a rate of Rs. 3.22 per km for air-conditioned sleeper coach. While the Government has fixed a fare of Rs 1,214 for the 380 km journey from Mumbai to Kolhapur. But actually Rs. 4850 are being charged on the route. The situation is similar in other places too. Hence, instead of keeping different passenger fares on the websites or apps of private travels, orders should be issued to keep fares one and a half times the Government approved fares. We demand that the violators of these rules should be booked and the licenses of these private companies should be revoked. This demand was made by the State Coordinator of Surajya Abhiyan Mr. Abhishek Murukate.