IN GOA’S HUMID ATMOSPHERE INTRODUCTION OF AC BUSSES WAS A RELIEF TO DAILY TRAVELLERS AS IT MADE THE JOURNEY A LITTLE PLEASANT. BUT TO EVERYONE’S SURPRISE, THIS INITIATIVE OF KTCL TURNED OUT TO BE A DISAPPOINTMENT, AS THEY DID NOT PROVIDE THE SERVICE AS PROMISED.
The AC bus service, that was provided by the Kadamba transport corporation limited (KTCL) received a negative response by the commuters. The government’s effort to try and provide seamless bus service was in vain.
“I am a daily commuter of the Panaji-Vasco shuttle service yet I’ve never been on the AC bus. This is because there aren’t any fixed timings for it and you get on it only by luck. KTCL should set a timetable for this bus service especially during the summer,” said one of the daily commuters.
For one traveller, the regular shuttle is better than the AC bus. “I deliberately avoid the AC bus since I get a headache due to the chill. It is pointless to have this service during the monsoons. I usually wait until a regular bus arrives instead of getting on the AC bus,” she said.
The bus service was first initiated only for the route of Panaji-Margao at the rate of Rs 48 per trip. The service was later extended to the Panaji-Vasco route as well.
When the KTC staff was asked about their side of the story they said that during slack time, the buses would end up waiting for a long time since it needs to be full before leaving. This was because not many passengers were willing to shell out additional money for the service. The passengers refused to pay extra Rs 8 to accommodate the charges to maintain the buses they slashed down the rate to that of the regular shuttles.
The diesel consumption is also more than the regular buses. While KTC’s long bus runs on 4.5 litres per km, the AC bus gives only 2.5 km per litre, thus consumption of diesel is more on the AC bus. This sometimes goes up to 150 litres of fuel per day.
“These are obligatory trips that we have to carry out because of the government’s orders, even though they are not profitable. There is no recovery of money but due to policy matters we cannot discontinue this service,” informed KTC Panaji depot manager, Anil Vengurlekar.
KTC chairman, Carlos Almeida also stood his ground on the same, “No transport corporation in India makes a profit by running buses on their own. We want to give comfort to the people; that is our priority. And the AC bus service was started for this very reason.” he said.
The daily commuters refusal to shell out money and then later complaining about the poor service is a bit hypocritical. Whose fault do you think it is? What do you have to say about the situation?