The South Indian state Kerala is all decked up to celebrate harvest festival Onam on Friday, 28 August.
However, for many Keralites residing in Bengaluru and other metro cities, reaching their hometown during this festive season is troublesome as train and state government bus tickets to major cities like Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam are already booked by those who plan their vacations beforehand.
Although there are seats available in some private buses, the cost of those tickets are double or three times the actual ticket rate. The private bus "mafia" reportedly increases the ticket rates during festive season.
Just a few days ago, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (Kerala SRTC) slashed the ticket rates as Onam gift to its customers and the maximum rate comes at Rs 1,281 for AC buses till the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram. Even the tickets rates for Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is less than Rs 1,200 for AC services. But, for private buses like Kallada, SPS, Shama, Golden Pearl, Atlas among many others, the ticket rates range from Rs 2,000 to 3,000 and the prices are higher for Non-AC services (starting from Rs 1,500).
Therefore, for a family consisting of four members, the travel expense will be of around Rs 24,000 for a to-fro journey.
In order to spend the holiday season with family members, passengers are now expecting the state transport corportion to arrange special affordable bus services.