Mugging is when one gets robbed of the money or belongings, and is left with minimal or no amount of evidence against the one who did it. There’s another situation where your money gets a free ride from your pockets and you get an acknowledgment duly printed.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the public sector transport provider of Kerala, God’s own country, does the wonderful job of taking your money away and duly acknowledging that with a ticket. I recently got fleeced during a journey on a KSRTC bus.
After being late and in a hurry to reach my destination, I boarded the first bus that came in front of me, which was to the place I was going.
The conductor gave me back a 10 rupees note after I gave him a 20 rupees note, and demanded 4 rupees change. Quite perplexed, I questioned him about it. The reply I got was,”this is a fast passenger service bus. Premium charges apply.”
The journey which usually costs ₹9 on private owned buses, cost me ₹14 on a KSRTC owned, so called ‘Fast passenger ‘ bus.
With the gradual drop in diesel prices, owing to all time lows of crude oil price, the private operators have for now, stopped lamenting about their expenses and the losses they bear, and is keeping mum about imposing a fare hike. Even when diesel prices are showing a downward trend, the KSRTC has no plans to reduce the fare.
Another thing queer about it is that, the usual private owned buses and the ‘fast passenger ‘ takes pretty much the same time to cover the same distance. The fast passenger at times reach much slower than the other bus does.The air conditioned buses take you the same distance for ₹15.
If someone dare question the rate, they courteously get the reply that, the bus is fast passenger and the rate is to be paid. Why should the passengers pay a premium amount for travelling in a fast passenger bus which is slower than the ordinary buses? There exists no visible way to identify the buses except for super express and long distance ones.
The consumer has no option but to pay the fare and stay silent. The fare being imposed by the Government is not questioned and if questioned, not heeded.
Kerala,truly God’s own country!!!!!