Complaints galore against Vyttila-Vyttila bus operators

For long, commuters have been raising their voices against Vyttila-Vyttila bus operators. Now, it is the turn of the Motor Vehicles Department personnel.

Fed up with alleged arm-twisting by a close associate of a Vyttila-based bus operators’ association, the enforcement and administrative staff at the Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer’s office have sent a complaint to the Transport Commissioner.

The personnel have cited instances of the person who also claims to be an RTO agent, entering the RTO office and creating a ruckus there. He often collects huge amounts from owners of buses that are not fit for service on the promise that he would obtain fitness certificates for them. He also leads a gang which has been putting up posters vilifying the Deputy Transport Commissioner and the RTO, and has been sending fake complaints against officials who do not fall in line, the complaint says.

Officials obstructed

The immediate provocation for the complaint was a gang of bus owners and crew on Wednesday obstructing Motor Vehicles Department personnel at the Vyttila Mobility Hub from initiating action against a few buses that were not abiding by the given schedule.

“We have allotted each of the 40 Vyttila-Vyttila circular service buses 55 minutes to cover the distance. But owners of most buses have come together and stretched the time to 1 hour and 10 minutes. They drag services along the route, so that each bus can collect more passengers and earn more profit while traversing the same distance,” said a MVD official.

Though buses in the route are overcrowded and commuters are forced to travel on the footboard during peak hours, the existing operators jointly oppose proposals to issue new permits to private or KSRTC buses, at Regional Transport Authority meetings.

Aimed at reducing the collection of KSRTC buses, they also reschedule their operations so that a couple of circular buses ply ahead of their KSRTC counterparts.

Many circular buses also cancel their trips without notice, leaving passengers stranded, he said.

New services opposed

Residents’ associations and NGOs in the Vyttila-Thammanam-Palarivattom route too had complained to the RTO, alleging that many private buses did not operate as per schedule.

Here too, the circular bus operators want to retain their monopoly and are preventing the entry of new buses in the route.

Copies of the complaint have also been forwarded to the Ministers for Home and Transport.

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