Name of company/service: Eagle Travels Pvt Ltd
My name is Bhavini Mehta. I am based at Ahmedabad. Yesterday ie. on 10th June, 2012, I was travelling from Rajkot to Ahmedabad through a bus of Eagle Travels Pve Ltd bus no. GJ3-W 9742 , I encountered this problem and I want to raise my voice against this injustice. While the bus was about to reach Limbdi it started raining and the bus driver (Ramesh Bhai) still continued driving the bus at the speed of 40Km/hour without wipers. When I told min to use his wipers, he said that the wipers of the bus were broken. I requested him to stop the bus till the rain stops in-case the wipers were not working. The vision was not at all clear and as that patch of the highway does not have plants planted between the divider of the roads, the lights coming from the opposite lane vehicles were making it all the more difficult to drive. The argument that the driver gave was that he has been driving the bus for 20 years now and that nothing will happen. Entire bus was full and there were 44 passengers in the bus including few kids whose lives were at risk. Another passenger who was getting late, supported the driver to continue ramming at the bus and the driver exactly followed his instructions. I requested him again and said its better if you stop the bus till the rain stops else I will complain against you, but he didn’t bother to hear anything.
I then called up 1095 Ahmedabad traffic control room. I spoke to the concerned person on the phone and he informed me that I will have to contact concerned department for this problem. He took details of our location and said he will inform the concerned department. I in no time informed Limbdi and Surendranagar police. I received a call from both the police stations and they said that they will stop the bus at Limbdi. We were about to reach Limbdi-Honest Highway Hotel which is a regular place where all the eagle buses stop for some time for refreshments. I was continuously following up with the police so that they reach there on time and resolve the issue. The police took 15 mins to reach after I continuously called them and requested them to come else the bus will leave from there. The police reached and asked me the problem and called the driver also who was not bothered at all and was enjoying he tea and snacks at the halt. Name of one of the police was (Mr. Bhatt). The police asked me about what action I wanted to take. I said I dont know the laws and your sections, I just know that what was happening was wrong and that I want to raise my voice against it. One of the police who was standing there was angry on me and said I should rather call up the owner of Eagle travels and not waste their time. This was a very irresponsible behavior and statement that a police( whose only aim is to protect people and their interest). I said I am ready to talk to the owners too but I don’t have their contact number or name. Strange thing is that the police knew the owner and his personal mobile number at the tip of his tongue. I called up the owner and told him his problem, he said all that he can do is arrange for another bus but that will take 2 hours. He said he cant do anything more that than. I told him that they were risking the lives of 44 people with such irresponsible act. He was very blunt to say “do whatever you can do I am not bothered”. I told the police I would like to register an FIR against Eagle travels. He said that FIR cannot be lodged for such an offence, What can be done is that we can make them pay the fine. He charged the driver a fine of RS 800 and gave a receipt for the same. He first told me that he will generate 2 challans against them but he only created 1 challan. He informed me that the process is over. When I said I wanted to see the challan, he only handed me 1 challan with a fine of Rs 800. I took a picture of that Challan as a proof. I also demanded the 2nd challan which he was suppose to generate. He had not made that challan at all. Only when I insisted him that I wanted to see that challan too, he made one and gave me to read. Nothing on that challan is legible. Not even a word makes sense on it. I have a copy of that challan too.
When I asked the police what legal action they should be taking under this situation as the wipers were still not there on the bus, it was cloudy and could rain anytime; he said that legally, he should not let the bus go from that place unless they get the wipers repaired. Another option he gave was that if the wipers could not be repaired, it should ask the travel company to send a new bus. Many passengers had to catch connecting trains and flights and were getting late. So the police suggested that we have already done the required procedure and so on humanitarian grounds, we should let the bus go WITHOUT WIPERS. I denied risking my life just to be able to save 2 hours of travel time. There were others who wanted to raise their voice but didn’t as they were either getting late, of were with kids or knew that what was happening was wrong but did not bother enough to stand and fight for it.
The bus boarded with 44 passengers, was allowed to go WITHOUT WIPES to ram on the roads again. I denied to board the bus and so I was given my luggage and they decided to leave me on the highway hotel at 9 PM all and move towards Ahmedabad. They suggested me to take the next bus which would reach there in next 1 hour. The police was still there and he suggested the driver to assign a person as responsible to take care of my safety there and then he can go.
This was such an easy thing for them to get away with. It is a very small instance but the consequences could have been life threatening. I have as a consumer not to take any shit from such travel companies whose owners are known to people as goons and criminals. I know this stem can cost my life too, keeping in mind the owner’s background but I still have a hope for justice. I do not know any laws and regulations to get justice for an offence like this and would appreciate your kind cooperation.
Looking forward for justice and action against such lawbreakers who think they can get away with their mistakes only by paying RS 800 as challan fine and some bribe to the shut people’s mouth.