The ordeal of an Indian-Australian Senior Citizen NOEL JOPLIN! Rude Behaviour of Bus Conductor of SUGUMA TOURIST Bus No KA 51 C 3637 plying from Mangaluru to Bengaluru was a Nightmare
Mangaluru: Bus conductors, once appreciated for their service as guides for passengers and assistants to drivers, are now better renowned for being the largest source of complaints, for their rude behaviour etc. Among many reasons, one reason that there are numerous complaints against conductors, more than in previous years, is because there are now fewer checking inspectors at work, and also if complaints are made, hardly any action is taken.
Among complaints, most of the complaints about bus conductors pertain to their rudeness and also for overcharging the commuters and also in many cases, not issuing tickets. Also, complaints from passengers are that they have received used tickets. Sometimes, buses are not stopped at the designated stops, causing passengers inconvenience. If you look at it, travelling by private buses is a hassle- because many a time there will be arguments or fights between commuters and bus conductors. This is a nightmarish situation for all involved, and a solution needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
Notwithstanding regular workshops on behavioural improvement, conductors and drivers, especially of private buses have not mended their ways and continue to be “rude” towards passengers. Compared to the organised services offered by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and its sister concerns, private buses continue to be unorganised, thereby lacking a proper supervisory mechanism. The behaviour of the crew on KSRTC buses has largely improved over the years due to strict action against rude behaviour and periodical sensitisation workshops.
Passengers ill-treated by private bus crew have very limited options of getting their grievances redressed and “swallow the insult”, and many have seen and experienced such insults. They hardly complain either to the police or regional transport officers as it involves a “cumbersome process”. In fact, the crew and owners “should be grateful to passengers” as they make a living out of passengers’ money. But it has been the other way lately. Sources reveal that the situation is entirely different if one travels a few kilometres towards Kerala-he buses would not move an inch unless all doors were closed. Even buses going from Mangaluru to this region follow the rule obediently, and the bus crew are polite and courteous. So, why not our bus crew in Karnataka follow in their footsteps, so that the passengers could have a pleasant journey?
Here is a recent example, where an Indian-Australian Senior Citizen having travelled from Mangaluru to Bengaluru had a horrific experience dealing with the bus conductor of a private bus, and he narrated his ordeal to Team Mangalorean, so that the concerned authorities, including the RTO and Higher Police Officials, could bring an end to the inhumane and rude behaviour of bus conductors. Till you book your bus tickets, you are treated well and spoken to in a polite manner, but once you are issued the ticket, and board the bus, then it is history- either your journey was peaceful or you had a horrific nightmare!
As per NOEL JOPLIN, an Indian-Australian Senior Citizen, he had booked his ticket from Mangaluru to Bengaluru on SUGAMA TOURIST Bus, bearing vehicle number KA 51 C 3637, with a prefered lower berth sleeper space. While the name of the driver was known as Krishna, the name of the bus conductor is yet to be known as of now. Joplin says it was one of the WORST and UNCOMFORTABLE bus trips he had in his life, and especially experiencing the RUDE BEHAVIOUR of the BUS CONDUCTOR, which he never looked forward to.
Noel Joplin said, “I had booked my ticket from Mangaluru to Bengaluru on 30 August 2022 by Sugama Tourist bus, departing at 10 pm. My ticket was confirmed as L 7 (lower berth, since I had specifically requested it, being a senior citizen not being able to climb the top sleeper space. However, when I entered the bus it was pitch dark so the conductor asked him to occupy L8. After about two hours when he was fast asleep, a passenger came and said that I had occupied his seat which was allotted to him”.
Noel with Cynthia D’Silva
“Meanwhile the conductor came rushing and in a rude manner, in spite of the seat reserved by me, picked up my bags and threw them on the top berth, and insisted I move to the top berth. I was totally shocked at the bus conductor’s behaviour, and even though I tried to convince him, alas it was on deaf ears. I was very much nervous that I would lose my passport and other belongings, however with no other option, I managed to climb up with difficulties, but was unable to sleep the remaining of the journey,” added Noel.
Noel enjoying an ice cream at “Naturals” with Ms Irene Fernandes
He further said, “Even though I reached Bengaluru after a horrific journey which was pretty bumpy, I was made to alight at Kalyan Nagar, where actually I had to get off at Kammanahalli, which is nearly two kilometres where I was made to alight. In this situation, I had to call my nephew, who arrived with his car driver and reached me home. How can we trust these guys if they don’t have any consideration for an 85-year-old man like me? The bumpy roads and a top berth were something which put me through a lot of pain and stress. I would like the authorities to look into the matter and question the conductor on duty to understand the harm he had done. Really this is unacceptable behaviour and he needs to be reprimanded. I paid Rs 997 for a bad and unforgettable experience, which I will remember forever. Let not the experience I faced happen to other seniors or for that manner, any person, which is absolutely unacceptable”.
While Noel Joplin was born and brought up in Kolar Gold Fields, he had made friends with a bunch of Mangaloreans working in Muscat, and one Mangalorean family he got closely associated with was Donald Fernandes, his wife Irene and his Family in Muscat. Before settling in Australia, Noel worked with Donald for 15 years in Muscat, and thus their friendship had grown. And whenever Noel comes to India, he visits his friends in Raichur, Bengaluru, and Mangaluru, among other places. And this year during his visit to Mangaluru from August 25-30, he stayed with the Fernandes couple, who had also come down to their hometown for holidays. The family took him around the Coastal city, and even got him the taste of icecreams at “Naturals” and “Ideals”.
In conclusion, what has the RTO or the Traffic Police Department done to rectify such kind of rude behaviour, overcharging, etc by the bus conductors- NOTHING! It is the need of the hour that the concerned authorities should come to the rescue of the commuters so that they can have a smooth and peaceful ride on the bus, rather than face all these inconveniences and hassles at the hands of some of these rude bus conductors- it has been a nightmare for many commuters who take the bus for the conveyance. Hoping that this report would bring a change and make a difference- let’s wait and see!