Kozhikode: The failure of KSRTC to operate more services in Malabar, ensuring a field day for private luxury buses on Bengaluru, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram routes, has left passengers in the lurch.
Adding to their woes, the transport department has taken five Scania luxury buses of KSRTC on the long routes into custody for not remitting taxes in time.
Passengers suspect a covert attempt to allow the private sector to cash in on the summer vacation rush.
Malabar Development Council chairman C.E. Chakkunny told Deccan Chronicle that the operators were charging prohibitively high fares in the season. "Going by the trend, they are making the hay while the sun shines brighter charging at will," he said.
"Against Rs 1000 to Rs 1200 charged for A/C buses to Chennai earlier, they now take Rs 2000 to Rs 3000."
Regional Transport Office here claims that most of the operators took permits for contract carriage but operate regular passenger services flouting rules.
"They are not supposed to pick and drop passengers along the route," said an official, preferring anonymity.
Passengers also demand more summer special trains on busy routes and state intervention in fixing regular fares.
As the Railways started operating more services on the route, the number of private bus services to Bengaluru has come down drastically.
Of about 20 services earlier to Bengaluru route, only a few are left....