News Karnataka
Wednesday, October 05 2022

KSRTC conductor asks lady passenger to get out of bus at midnight!

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Mangalore: The state owned KSRTC often speaks about complete protection to women travelling in its buses and has even introduced Special Womens Buses. But,  in an inhuman incident reported recently there was an attempt  to force a  young woman  alight a  bus in the dead of the night. This incident has been reported when Sowmya of Mangalore (name changed) working for a private firm in Bangalore was traveling in a KSRTC AC sleeper bus on September 10 after availing ticket in advance.

Sowmya had booked the ticket online four days ago and had boarded the  Trip No. 2240 MNGBNG bus belonging to Mangalore Division on September 10. During the travel she produced her ticket and  ID copies as well as the original copy of the ID of the company for which she is  working. But the conductor seeing some xerox copies of the documents demanded her to produce  the original copies. Finally Sowmya tried to convince the conductor by referring to the rules and regulations  mentioned in the KSRTC online ticket  booking. But an unrelenting conductor Erappa Kolli asked Sowmya to speak to the T C. When the TC Gopal Poojari of Mangalore KSRTC Bus stand was contacted on phone and explained the incident, he too said that she  should be permitted to travel if she produced the original documents, or else has to continue her journey after paying the ticket amount!

The TC told the conductor not to allow Sowmya to travel if she failed to produce the originals of the Pan Card and driving licence. Finally, as per the drivers instruction, the conductor stopped the  bus  on a road sans streetlight  on the BC Road-Uppinangady stretch. When she was asked to alight  in an area of pitch darkness near the Narahari Parvatha the young woman once again made an appeal that she be permitted to travel. Finally, she telephoned her mother and narrated  the problem. Sowmya’s mother too spoke to the conductor over phone and requested him to allow her daughter to continue her travel. But Eranna was unrelenting and gave her the telephone number of the TC. The woman telephoned  the T C Gopal Poojari who too was adamant.

In fact the TC  who did not know the rules, said rules have to be followed and Sowmya cannot be allowed to travel. It is learnt the bus was stopped thrice at three different locations to pressurise Sowmya to get down. Ironically, none in the bus came to the help  of Sowmya. Finally, a passenger  paid Rs 600 to the conductor and  allowed Sowmya to continue her journey.Sowmya upon reaching Bangalore, lodged a complaint at the Kempe Gowda bus terminus.News Karnataka could get hold of a copy of the complaint.

I do not know anything, says conductor

When the conductor of the bus Eranna Kolli of Khanapura in Belgaum was  contacted and questioned why he forced a lone lady passenger to alight the bus in a deserted area even when she produced all documents, his reply was ridiculous. “ I had reported to duty after a long leave. I was unaware of the rules meant for   passengers who availed  advance booking facilities. On seeing the Xerox copies, I requested her to produce original copies. In order to clarify my doubts I telephoned the T C. But he told me not to take any risk. Therefore, I asked Sowmya to purchase another ticket. It was my mistake Sir.”

When told  that Sowmya had produced her ID card of the firm for which she was working, Eranna said she had not produced the ID. ” I only adhered to the orders of the TC. I did not humiliate her. I have spoken to Sowmyas mother too. If we miss even a single ticket we will have to remain at home for six months. Therefore I followed rules.” 

When the TC Gopal Poojari who was on duty on September 10 night was contacted about the incident, he at first said ” he was not in the bus,” Even when he was told that as per rules it was enough if a passenger had  Xerox copies, Poojari argued that original documents were a must.

Get the amount reimbursed !

A telephone call to the Mangalore Division KSRTC Control Room to enquire who was the TC who was on duty on September 10,  and also to brief about the incident, got a shocking free advice. ” Get the ticket amount reimbursed, that’s all.”

Xerox copies of documents are enough

Sandeep,  officer of KSRTC Avatar division of  advance booking at Kempe Gowda bus terminus said it is enough if Xerox copies of the documents  like Pan card, driving licence and passport are produced while travelling. In case of IDs issued by private firms, then the original documents should be furnished, he added.

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