By: Sanjeev Verma
Private bus service can well be called the lifeline of Shimla. But contrary to it, these buses, now-a-days, have become a problem for the commuters. It is astonishing to see private bus operators not following rules and instructions passed by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh and also the state government.
Despite clear instructions regarding proper distribution of tickets to passengers, wearing of uniforms by drivers and conductors, refraining from overloading of buses, private bus operators in Shimla seem to have turned a deaf ear to them in absence of proper check by the RTO and concerned authorities. Of late, there had been many incidents where passengers hanging on to bus doors fell down injuring themselves seriously.
On 19 July 2008, I boarded a skyline bus No. HP 63 0592, which plies on Sanjauli – Summer Hill route, at Shimla Bus Stand for Summer Hill. The bus conductor, Mr. Dyal, charged Rs. 5/- as fare but did not give ticket, like other passengers in the bus. When I asked him for the ticket, he said “I don’t have tickets”. Also, both driver and conductor of the bus were not wearing the uniform, as is mandatory.
When I tried to bring this problem to the notice of RTO Shimla on telephone No. 2658397, nobody responded to the calls made by me between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm on 19 July, 2008. Then I submitted the written complaint to the Section Officer of the Transport Department, Himachal Pradesh Secretariat, with copies to Director Transport, H.P. Govt. and RTO Shimla, along with relevant newspaper articles. The officer assured me of taking strict action against the defaulter and carrying checks. But to my surprise, even after 10 days, I don’t find any change in the services of these private bus operators. This compelled me to write another application mentioning the details to Secretary Transport, Himchal Pradesh Govt.
Many a time, it seems that most of the drivers of these buses could not fulfill their desire of flying a fighter jet because of the reasons beyond their control but have a belief that they can certainly make these buses to take off someday as it has been said “Aasman mein bhi ched ho sakta hai, jara ek bar tabiyat se pather to uchhal kar dekho”. Moreover, these drivers are also not untouched by the mobile virus, as we can see them attending the calls while driving buses, which can anytime result into accidents, punishing the passengers for no fault of theirs. This nuisance calls immediate attention of concerned authorities to set the private bus services on track and ensure proper implementation of rules, which are in public interest.
But, at the same time, we as educated and responsible citizens of the society should very well know about our welfare, rights and responsibilities rather than depending on the government authorities to get us all facilities. If paying bus fare is our responsibility, demanding ticket is our right. But most of us do not feel it important to do so. Also, it is ironical to see that despite paying challans and knowing that conductors are not giving tickets to passengers, which is a loss to the bus owners ultimately, they never bother to have surprise checks of their buses. In many cases it has been observed that bus owners do not issue tickets to the conductors, where we, as responsible citizens, can take up the case with concerned authorities.
Who is responsible for overcrowding of buses? Isn’t it the people like me and you, who pack the buses to almost double their capacity? We travel on the doorsteps of buses, despite knowing that it is dangerous, as if we have been blessed against accidents. Do we need the help of Government authorities to tell us to take care of our lives ?
It is pertinent to mention here that rules and regulations made by the Government cannot be implemented successfully without people’s participation, where the role has to be played by ‘we the people of society’. And, if there is something which really bothers us, it should definitely be taken up at appropriate forum, where it also become the responsibility of the Government and other concerned authorities to pay heed to such issues.
Happy traveling !
This happened with me also yesterday when i was on my way to Busstand from Kanlog via bus number HP 63 2230. The driver was rashly driving the bus and was asking the passengers to get down at the stops hurriedly from moving buses.
When I objected to it He started arguing.
And didnot give tickets to any one except me because I only demanded it.
What is more shocking is the attitude of the common public.
Who never bother to ask for a ticket and never utter a word on the same.
More saddening is the fact that The authorities also wake up only when some accidents and casualities happen.
Else no traffic police constable ever seem to take action against overloading of buses.
Further these bus operators also misbehave with passengers travelling on shorter routes like from Bus stand to Bemloe.
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