Omni buses make hay prior to Pongal

Passengers are at the receiving end of exorbitant fares in the absence of proper regulation The Pongal season seems to have become a time for Omni buses at the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) to reap a harvest of their own through nearly doubled the normal bus fares
Omni buses make hay prior to Pongal
Justin George

Chennai

It’s a practice that continues despite the state government’s warnings and complaints from fleeced commuters.  
Officials of Regional Transport Organisation (RTO) say that they have, since January 9, received a total of 15 calls from helpless passengers. 
An agent at the Koyambedu private bus stand provided proof of such arbitrary pricing when DT Next asked him about fares to cities like Trichy, Madurai and Coimbatore. “If you go to Trichy, you will be charged Rs 900. If travelling at night, the fare will increase to Rs 1,200 to 1,300,” he says, adding, with unusual candour that normally, the fare to these cities ranged between Rs 500 and Rs 650. Passengers have their own stories of being taken for a ride. 
“Travel is a headache whenever the festival season approaches because the Omni buses are charging fares way beyond the prescribed limit,” says M Karunakaran, who was boarding a bus to Trichy and has faced such a bitter experience before. Another passenger, S Gandhi, says that private buses were charging fares with no fear of punitive action from the government. 
“The officials should tighten the noose on them, such buses should be seized,” she says R. Sundaresan, Regional Transport Officer (Anna Nagar), maintains that they were monitoring all the private buses. “We will take action against the Omni buses charging excessive fares,” he says. 
The government had announced that the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation would operate over 12,000 special buses between January 9 and 14  for the Pongal festival. 

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