PANJIM: Students often complain about private bus operators refusing to accept college identity cards to give them their rightful concessions of half-ticket for inter-state travel. However, students say the harassment is at its peak during weekends and vacation breaks as bus operators are said to claim the students are not eligible for half-tickets when colleges are shut.
Laxmi Chintala, a Margao resident and student of Panjim's V M Salgaonkar College of Law, said, "Students like me who travel from Margao and Vasco are asked to pay full ticket on weekends and holidays by bus conductors. This doubles our travel costs. I travel regularly to Panjim for internship which is also college related work."
"Conductors sometimes harass students and do not allow them to enter their buses just because they pay half ticket," said, Anuradha Kamat, a student of St Xavier's College at Mapusa.
Private bus operators counter the students' allegations stating that college identity cards are misused by students to loiter around and, therefore, bus operators should not be expected to accept half-tickets during college breaks.  "Validity of identity cards for student use is only on working days and not for enjoyment on weekends," said a bus conductor working on a bus operating in Calangute.
Vinod Parsekar, conductor on a bus operating on the Vasco-Panjim route, said, "We find many students travelling with duplicate identity cards. So we are cautious."
A student of Panjim's Don Bosco College said that colleges too are at fault. "The validity of our identity cards ends with the academic year and the cards are made valid again when the new academic year begins. Colleges should make an exception at least for students who are required to travel for internships during vacations," said the student.
"Conductors demand for a valid identity card. But the fact is that our cards are not valid during summer vacations. Yet we are expected by colleges to travel for courses and other functions organized by the institute during holidays," stated Levia Fernandes, a computer applications student at Panjim.
Colleges as well as the transport department are working in the new academic year to ease the students' problems. Principal of V M Salgaonkar College of Law M Pinheiro, said, "We assign validity on the students' identity card till the academic year ends so students do not misuse it for wrong reasons. Nonetheless, we do issue an additional identity card for those with genuine concerns." "During admissions we issue students with a temporary identity card till they get their permanent identity cards," stated the vice-principal of Panjim's Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Ramu Murthy.
Arun Desai, the director for transport, said, "We get a lot of complaints from students as well as their parents about buses not letting students inside the bus as they will have to accept half-tickets. Keeping this in mind we have appointed special officers at the bus stands to keep a watch in the mornings."
Desai said that if students are facing problems due to colleges not extending validity of identity cards during the vacation breaks and conductors refusing to accept identity cards during weekends, these complaints should be reported to the transport department in writing.  "It is completely wrong to rip off students on weekends as it is the students' privilege for which they have been issued the identity cards," Desai said.


Gobor said...

Where are the students associations? Today's youth are pansies. Gutless. 

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