Odisha train crash: Bengal bus operators fleece passengers, fined
The cost of an air-conditioned Volvo bus ticket between Puri and Kolkata is Rs 1,250,” informed Puri RTO Robin Patnaik.
BHUBANESWAR: At a time when Odisha is facilitating free bus service for West Bengal citizens stranded in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack owing to the train mishap, bus operators from the latter are attempting to cash in on the situation by fleecing their own people.
On Monday, four buses with registration numbers of West Bengal were seized by Puri Sadar police and fined for collecting excess fare from passengers travelling to the neighbouring state.
Two days back, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced free bus service for Kolkata-bound people stranded in the three cities due to the train accident. “Despite this, the four air-conditioned Volvo buses from West Bengal had taken bookings online from passengers stuck at Puri and charged between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,800 per ticket. The cost of an air-conditioned Volvo bus ticket between Puri and Kolkata is Rs 1,250,” informed Puri RTO Robin Patnaik. Each bus was carrying 40 to 45 passengers.
Further, two of the buses had permission to ply till Contai, but were carrying passengers to Kolkata. Similarly, one bus had permission to ply till Kolkata but had issued tickets to passengers till Asansol.
Upon receiving information, RTO Puri seized the four buses and imposed fines ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 11,500. All the passengers from the private buses were shifted to four OSRTC AC buses and dropped at Kolkata. He added awareness among all passengers at Puri is being created about the free bus arrangement by the state government.