Pushparaja Chauta, a software professional at Whitefield in Bangalore, expected to “sleep like a baby” when he paid Rs. 599 and boarded a KSRTC Airavat Club Class bus from Udupi to Bangalore on Sunday, along with 48 others.
However, instead of “sleeping like a baby”, Mr. Chauta had to complete the journey “standing like a dog” in some other KSRTC service from Bellur.
Hit a bear
Speaking to The Hindu , he said the ordeal began after the bus hit a bear, killing the animal on the spot, in the forest area between Hiresave and Bellur at about 3.50 a.m. on Monday.
In the process, the hose pipe was damaged and the diesel tank was drained out.
While he expected the bus crew to call officials and make alternative arrangements, they were busy flagging down passing KSRTC buses and pushing passengers into them. Mr. Chauta attempted to obtain the emergency telephone numbers of the KSRTC.
The emergency contact numbers 7760990034 and 77609 90035 were switched off.
All the enquiry numbers on the KSRTC website were either switched off or there was no response when I called, he said.
“Eventually, I got a response from one of the contacts and he started yelling at me.”
Finally, all the passengers were pushed into some bus or the other, irrespective of whether they got seats, Mr. Chauta said.