The gundagardi of Private bus conductors in Shimla
Yesterday, 14-June-2013, it was around 9:00 AM, I boarded a bus from the old bus stand of Shimla to Vikas Nagar. The bus was not at all crowded and it was easy to get a seat. It was Chadha Travel Bus and I am sure most of the locals from Shimla have traveled in this bus quiet often. Everything was as normal as a regular morning. Then the conductor came to me and asked me where I wanted to go. I told him- Vikas Nagar. He asked me the bus fare, which is INR 8, but I said give me the ticket first. On that he said something which surprised me. He said, “Hum Tax dete hai, ticket nahi.” When I told the conductor that it is compulsory to give tickets to each passenger he said, “Jis marzee ko complain karo, humne nahi dena ticket.” He kept on arguing and I was wondering that why none of the other passengers stood for me. They were all mute and if anyone opened their mouth, it was, “Chalo yaar chalo, der ho ri hai office k liye.”
There is a helpline phone number written on the private as well as HRTC buses, when I dialed 09459100100, they suggested me to call the Vikas Nagar police chowki at 0177-2623393, I called them and took the phone number of Shimla Traffic Police because the passengers in the bus were getting late for their work and they were all annoyed. I called Shimla Traffic Police at 0177- 2651850 to ask, if it is compulsory for the private bus operators to give the tickets and they confirmed that it is compulsory. Later the Shimla Traffic Police asked me to lodge a complaint against them.
There are few questions in my mind which came after the whole incident. I need to ask the DSP Traffic, Shimla that:
• Why is it compulsory to give a ticket to a passenger?
• What if the conductor denies to give the ticket?
• In the situation when the conductor denies to give the ticket, what should a passenger do?
• Mostly, the tickets we get are without the Bus Name and the Bus Number, why is it so?
• Who keeps a check on the tickets which the conductors give? As sometimes the conductor gives tickets with a wrong amount, or misprint ticket and there is no distance mentioned.