Mumbai: Ahead of the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which begins from Monday, private bus operators in Maharashtra have hiked their fares on some services on the Konkan route in order to benefit from the rush of passengers travelling to their home towns to celebrate with their families.
Fares have been hiked up to as much as Rs 2,000-2,500, which, reportedly, is more than even double the normal fare.
Reportedly, the private operators are charging Rs 1,100 for a non-AC trip to Ratnagiri, while the same trip in a state-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus would cost only between Rs 400-450. A trip to Ratnagiri in a private AC bus will cost more than Rs 1,500 this week. Similarly, for a visit to Sawantwadi or Malvan, the private operators are charging between Rs 1,500-2,000, with the MSRTC charging around Rs 650-750 for the same route.
The hike in fare comes despite a state government notification last year which said that the private bus fares could be a maximum 50% more than that of buses run by the MSRTC, which runs extra services every year during the festival to cater to the extra rush.
Earlier, ahead of the festival, which is one of the biggest festivals in Maharashtra and is also celebrated in some other states in the country, the Mumbai Police had released an advisory to prevent traffic jams in the city during the celebrations. More than 40,000 personnel of the Mumbai Police will be deployed to take care of the law and order situation in the city.