Navi Mumbai's Regional Transport Office (RTO) is taking strict measures to prevent bus operators from overcharging passengers during Ganeshotsav, ensure passenger safety and fair pricing.
The Sion-Panvel Highway in Navi Mumbai serves as an important route for thousands of devotees traveling from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to the Konkan regions during Ganeshotsav. Many bus operators have taken advantage of the high demand by significantly increasing their fares during this period, leaving passengers with no option but to pay the increased prices.
Responding to several complaints over the years, Navi Mumbai's deputy RTO recently introduced fixed fares for 21 routes from Vashi to Konkan areas and warned private bus operators to strictly adhere to them or face penalties. Regular inspections are being conducted to monitor compliance with these fares.
Panvel RTO has also joined these efforts, and is starting comprehensive inspection of buses en route to check safety violations and fare hikes. RTO officials and personnel have been carrying out inspections in areas like Kamothe and Kharghar, inspecting over 500 buses, issuing fines to over 70 violators and collecting fines worth around Rs 9 lakh.
During these inspections, various factors are evaluated, including drivers' alcohol consumption, verification of bus permits and required documents, transportation of illegal or flammable materials, capacity violations, and fare violations. The condition of emergency doors, first aid facilities, fire fighting equipment, pressure horns, lights and wipers is also checked.
Both the RTOs aim to ensure that passengers are not inconvenienced by fare hike during Ganeshotsav and can travel safely to their destination. Passenger feedback has been positive, with many welcoming these inspections to ensure fair pricing and passenger safety during the festive season.
Passenger Samriddhi Renoz expressed support for the inspection, highlighting the need for continuous checking during Ganeshotsav to prevent fare hike. He said that these inspections should have been implemented much earlier and stressed their importance in ensuring a hassle-free and safe travel experience for passengers.