A TOURIST from Bihar, who was travelling to Parvati by a PMPML bus, was allegedly slapped with a fine of Rs 300 and verbally harassed by three ticket checkers, when he told them that he had not yet been issued a ticket by the conductor. The ticket checkers boarded the bus midway and asked the commuter for his ticket.
The tourist, identified as R Mishra from Darbhanga, is a marketing professional who was visiting relatives in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
The incident has drawn flak from civic activists who have, once again, demanded that ticket checkers should not enter a bus midway to catch those travelling without tickets. Instead, they should do so when commuters alight from the bus. The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) said it will investigate the matter.
On Friday, Mishra boarded a bus going towards the headquarters of the Pune Municipal Corporation at Kasarwadi. At Wakdewadi, three ticket checkers entered the bus and allegedly asked Mishra for his ticket. Mishra told them that the conductor had not yet issued him a ticket.
Following this, the ticket checkers allegedly asked him to pay a fine of Rs 300. When Mishra told them that he was carrying only Rs 320 with him and that he was a tourist who wanted to see Parvati and nearby areas, the ticket checkers refused to believe him. Some fellow passengers even urged them to give the tourist a discount, but they refused.
A commuter said the tourist tried pleading with the ticket checkers, telling them that the conductor had not reached him as he was sitting near the driver’s cabin.
But the conductor, added the commuter, told the ticket checkers that he had come near the driver’s cabin but the passenger had not asked for a ticket.
Another commuter said, “The tourist told the ticket checkers that he had no more than Rs 320 and needed some money as he was visiting Parvati area. But they refused to listen to him.”
When contacted, Mishra said he was waiting for the conductor to come to him so that he could get a ticket. “The conductor did not come near me as he was busy issuing tickets to other passengers. I have never travelled without a ticket,” he added.
Jugal Rathi, convener of PMP Pravasi Manch, said, “Why should ticket checkers enter buses… and scare the commuters? They should check commuters when they alight from buses.”
Naina Gunde, PMPML CMD, said she will look into the matter. As for ticket checkers boarding buses midway, Gunde said she will have to take a look at the rule book.