The rerouting of some KSRTC buses through the Vyttila mobility hub may be good news for passengers, but the franchisee handling the toll collection at the Aroor Bridge toll is not really amused.
Many KSRTC bus conductors refuse to pay the excise at the toll plaza set up by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Aroor, leading to altercations.
Toll collection was recently handed over to Vaishnavi distributors from Hyderabad and issues cropped up afterwards because the persons directly deployed by the NHAI before that did not insist on toll from KSRTC buses.
Toll collectors said that buses mainly coming from distant depots refused to pay toll and this was due to the lack of clear instructions to them in this regard from the respective depots.
Buses from the Cherthala, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Angamaly depots oblige but according to the admission of KSRTC officials themselves, Aluva depot conductors refuse.
Buses coming from as far as Kottarakkara, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and other district headquarters are also not clear about paying toll and hence refuse to pay, leading to arguments at the toll booth.
“The Aluva DTO has now been given instructions to pay toll at the gate . Usually KSRTC buses are exempt from paying toll at the booths of bridges.
So we have decided to approach the CM to exempt our buses from paying toll in Aroor,” said Sebastian Thomas, Ernakulam zonal officer of KSRTC.
A conservative estimate puts the total number of services run by KSRTC on the bridge at nearly 200 a day and of this long-distance buses account for 15. The toll is `55 one way and `80 return.
Source: Deccan Chronicle