Indore : Taking advantage of festival rush, the Inter- State bus operators and their agents are fleecing innocent passengers. It was quite visible on Sunday and Monday at the counters of the bus operators.

These unscrupulous operators used to charge more than three times the normal fare from passengers, who are bound to purchase ticket for their travel to two Western metros.

Their argument is illogical and the passnegers have to pay the hiked fore as there is no system to safeguard their interest.

A number of people from Indore are working in big cities like Mumbai and Pune and they prefer to visit their homes during Diwali. Due to this, there is a sudden spurt in demand for bus tickets and it gives ample ground for the agents and operators to fleece the passengers.

When contacted, two operators and an agent told this correspondent about the ‘ practice’ followed by them to reap benefit at the expense of passengers.

They said bookings for Mumbai and Pune were over and no seats were left.

Similarly, seats for other destinations like Akola, Jalgoan, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Rajkot and Kanpur too also are full by 2.30 pm of Monday.

Rohit Sharma, a passenger travelling to Mumbai, said he had paid Rs 2300 for a ticket to Mumbai by AC sleeper bus when the regular fare was just Rs 800. He had to purchase the ticket as he wanted to report for duty by Tuesday. Another passenger said that he had paid Rs 3500 for an AC Volvo bus ticket, while in normal time the fare was just Rs 1500. Mumbai and Pune are two hot destinations for the operators and the agents followed by Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda and Jaipur, Nashik, Kanpur, Akola and Jalgoan.

The fares for other destinations were also increased by Rs 400 to 500.

According to an operator, there are 30 buses visit Bombay and Pune and each bus has the capacity of more than 30 seats. But there was a rush of over 1500 passengers against the available seat of 900.

This situation gave a chance to the operators to increase the fare by three times.

Mahant Jugal Baba, who reached a travel agent office to book ticket for his relative said that the increased fare has disturbed the budget and unfortunately there is no one to listen our voice.

When contacted, RTO Jitendra Kumar Raghuvanshi, his cell phone found switched off.

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