Kochi: With heavy rush being witnessed in the Bengaluru sector ahead of the Easter-Vishu holidays, private luxury buses are charging exorbitant rates while the railways failed to operate special trains to the Garden City and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) was conducting most of its special services via the longer Kutta-Mananthavadi route. Malayalees working in Bangalore are forced to pay upto Rs 3000 to travel to Ernakulam instead of the usual Rs 1200 (average) as KSRTC buses got fully booked for Thursday (from Bangalore) and Sunday (from Ernakulam) from Monday last.
“I tried to book seats for my family through the online portal of the corporation, however, it shows all buses are already booked. Upon checking the redBus site, I was surprised to see the tickets were priced nearly double the normal rates. One private Multi-axle Scania service that departs Bengaluru at 11 pm (on April 13) and reaches Ernakulam at 7.30 am is charging `3000 per seat while the flight charges start from `4450. All other buses with multiple vacant seats are charging a minimum of `2000,” said Kiran Sajan, a native of Ernakulam who currently works at Bangalore.
Meanwhile, people were angry that although the railways announced ‘Summer specials’ there was not even a single train to the Garden city. “We don’t have any special trains to Bengaluru though we’re operating a special train in the Kochuveli-Mangalore sector via Kottayam,” a railway spokesperson said. Meanwhile, the Kerala RTC is operating a total of 18 additional services on April 13 (from Bengaluru) and April 17 (towards Bengaluru). However, all the services from major cities like Ernakulam are via the longer Kutta-Mananthavadi route instead of Salem. “An increase of 10 per cent in ticket rates will be effected in the services using Super Express class buses,” a senior KSRTC officer said.