Recently, I read in one of my frequently visited blogs of Prem Sagar that the bus conductors in Bangalore are not issuing tickets but just collects half the fare and leaves the passenger to travel without a ticket. If the cost of the ticket is Rs6/-, the conductor collects Rs.3/- from the passenger and allows him/her to travel without a ticket. The passenger saves Rs.3/- but the government loses quite a sum. Prem has calculated it to be around Rs1 Crore and 8 lacs or so.
I was really surprised and anguished by the novel way of cheating by the bus conductors.
You can visit Prem Sagar's blog from here.
But when I sat back and thought about it for a minute I realised that with a great income dis-equilibrium in Bangalore, these kind of things are bound to happen. With the development of Bangalore as a big IT and ITES hub and the employees getting fancy salaries and leading a high cost life style, which puts pressure on common man. Due to the IT and ITES developments, the cost of living has gone up in all cities but the worst is in Bangalore, I guess. (My brother stayed in a single bedroom apartment in BTM Layout a year ago for Rs650o/-). Bangalore is also home to people like bus conductors, government clerks and officers, PSU bank employees etc., These people paid very low salary but because of the high cost of living I am sure they will find life very difficult. The bus conductor's behavious truly reflects the divide between haves and have-nots and how people employee crooked ways to make money. I am not trying to justify what the conductor did, but these things are bound to happen.
At the same time, I have been regularly using the Metropolitan transport buses in Chennai since 1998. I was using it regularly for the first 3 years and even now I use it at regular intervals. Not even once, I have come across such an instance of conductor not issuing tickets but just pocketing the money. Chennai moves on Metropolitan transport buses and just imagine if this happens in Chennai the Government is going to loose lot of money.
Another interesting incident which happened with Metropolitan transport corporation in my own family (with my father) is worth sharing it here. In the year 2002, my father was travelling in a local bus and he was carrying hard cash of Rs35,000/-. Forgottenly, he left the wallet in the bus and got down from it. Luckily, the wallet landed in the hands of the conductor of the bus. He was attached to the KK Nagar bus depot and he toook it to his office and handed over to Transport Corporation officials. Even before handing over it, he prompted called up my father and told him that he has returned it to the office and my father can collect it after identifying it and providing identification proof. All this happened even as the conductor knew that the wallet had Rs35000/- cash. Hats off to the conductor for his honesty!!!