CHENNAI: Ousted AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday criticised the Tamil Nadu government for failing to prevent the private bus operators from fleecing the public, who are travelling to their native places during festival times to celebrate with the families.
He called the surprise checks conducted by the authorities recently as a "eye-wash" and demanded Chief Minister M K Stalin's intervention to stop the private bus operators from taking advantage of the passengers.
OPS, in a statement, said the private bus operators increased the ticket fair by threefold ahead of the Christmas festival. For instance, they charged Rs 2,500, Rs 3,300 and Rs 3,000 per person from Chennai to Madurai, Tirunelveli and Kochin respectively. It was three times higher than the non-seasonal days.
Following complaints and criticism, the government authorities conducted surprise checks and fined Rs 92,500 from 49 private bus operators. "On an average, the government fined Rs 1,877 per private bus operators, " he said and added that the common man can easily understand that it was nothing but an public stunt.
Surprise checks and penalising the violators would not end the practice of exploiting the passengers.
Instead, the government should regulate the private bus operators.
OPS further said that he "on behalf of the AIADMK party" strongly condemn the DMK government for not acting and the meagre fine to omni bus operators is an eye wash.
He recalled Chief Minister M K Stalin's statement when he was the opposition leader regarding the similar issue.
"The then opposition party leader said the private bus operators were indulging in day light robbery and questioned why the state government was not taking against the bus operators, " he said and also pointed out the state transport minister of the present regime expressing views in support of the private bus operators when activists, civil organisations and himself (OPS) flagged the issue.