Hyderabad: Road Transport Authority officials caught 24 private buses for a slew of violations including ticket overpricing, tax evasion, carrying commercial goods and not being equipped with fire extinguishers.
Chairman, Indian Federation of Road Safety Vinod Kanumala, said the law mandated the fitting of fire extinguishers, glass breakers and glass pointers in buses, but this was ignored by operators. “These are necessary for passenger safety,” he said.
An RTC official said the fire extinguishers were fitted on all buses but were now found only in high-end services. He said fire extinguishers were fitted on ordinary RTC buses as well when they were manufactured but they had gone missing.
Officials said private bus operators were found to be charging 400 per cent more than the normal ticket price in the name of high demand. The Hyderabad-Vijayawada ticket, which cost between Rs 300 and Rs 500, was being sold for Rs 1,800.
Mr M. Sravan Kumar, who was travelling to Vijayawada for the festival, said the fares were matching those of airline tickets. “It’s too much,” he said. Some buses were found plying with extra passengers. Each bus was fined Rs 2,000. Two buses for which tax had not been paid were seized.