Tribune News Service
Patiala, February 20
Students have raised their voice against private bus operators who are fleecing pupils by charging extra money from them. They have been sitting on indefinite protest at Kulara village in Samana block of the district for the past three days.
The students alleged that private bus operators were charging extra money from students of the area despite having a valid students’ bus pass. They added that as no bus was being plied by the state government on the Samana-Talwandi- Bhawanigarh route, therefore, they had no other option but to travel in private buses.
One of the protesters said, “A poor student is being forced to pay almost Rs 30 everyday. In the absence of government buses on the route, private operators fleece poor students.”
The protesting students also alleged that the private bus operators bullied them when they opposed.
The students, led by Punjab Student Union (Lalkaar), are staging a sit-in protest in the village, wherein, villagers have also joined the protest. Besides, the villagers have been providing langar to protesting students.
Jaswinder Singh, member, PSU (Lalkaar), said, “First, we requested PRTC officials to run a bus on this route, however, they ignored us. Similarly, we also met SDM Samana but he didn’t pay any heed.”
Students said they belonged to the families of daily wagers, therefore, they couldn’t spare Rs30 every day, however, and it might be very nominal for the operators.
Meanwhile, Naman Marken, SDM, Samana, said, “We have asked the students to come and discuss the issue with us. We have no right to ask private players to reduce bus fares, however, will request PRTC officials to run a bus on this route.”
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