He waged 7-month letter war with KSRTC to get a refund of Rs 100!

He waged 7-month letter war with KSRTC to get a refund of Rs 100!

Bus conductor had not extended senior citizen benefit

He waged 7-month letter war with KSRTC to get a refund of Rs 100!

Raghavendra Rao

For all those gullible public, who are denied social benefits extended by the Government due to bureaucratic hurdles, N P Raghavendra Rao and five other senior citizens have shown the way as to fight and get the benefits.

These senior citizens have forced the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation  to reimburse the money towards senior citizen’s concession seven months after their journey. After a series of correspondence, the State-run transport corporation paid back Rs 100 to these men, besides expressing regret for the inconvenience.

On January 16 morning this year, Raghavendra Rao and five others (all relatives from various parts of the State), took a KSRTC bus from Kempe Gowda bus stand in Bangalore to Devarayanadurga. They asked the bus conductor to give them 25 per cent senior citizen concession on every ticket. They all showed EPIC and PAN card as their age proofs.

But the conductor refused to accept them as proofs. Instead, he asked them to show the age proof card issued by the KSRTC, which none of them possessed. Efforts to convince the conductor that any proper age proof will do to avail the concession, went in vain. The conductor stuck to his guns and charged the complete fare for them -- Rs 192 for six of them. They did not get the concession even during the return journey to Bangalore.
However, Raghavendra Rao, retired principal of Bharath Electronics PU College and a resident of Chamarajpet, did not give up. On January 19, 2009, he wrote a letter to KSRTC Divisional Controller complaining him about the incident. On January 22, the Divisional Controller office replied him saying the bus belongs to the Tumkur division and that his complaint has been forwarded to that office.

On not receiving any reply for two weeks, he wrote to the Tumkur divisional office reminding it of the complaint. But there was no response. After waiting for two months, he wrote a strong letter to the Divisional Controller, KSRTC, Bangalore on April 10. Then things started moving. 

On April 20, KSRTC MD’s office informed him in a letter that directions have been issued to the Tumkur division to conduct a department inquiry into the complaint and take appropriate action. Subsequently, the Tumkur Division office in its first letter to Rao on April 30, 2009, expressed regret for the inconvenience. The office also asked him to provide all details like journey tickets and age proof card issued by the State Social Welfare department.

Rao wrote back saying they have voter IDs, PAN cards and other documents as proof, but they do not have the card issued by the Social Welfare department. The Tumkur Division then asked him to furnish any age proof of all the six senior citizens -- A Raghavendra Rao, N P Bhujanga, A Rama Rao, Gopinath and N H Gururaj. The retired principal wrote another letter saying that five other men stay in various parts of the State and that he was unable to collect proofs from them.

On August 18, 2009, the KSRTC Tumkur Division accepted its mistake and sent him Rs 100 DD as reimbursement towards the travel concession. “I must have written nearly two dozen letters. My aim was to make the KSRTC accept its mistake and not repeat it to other senior citizens,” Rao stated.
Rao, however, has ended up spending around Rs 50 to write so many letters.

Rule says...

As per the rule book, senior citizens can show any document issued by the Government as the age proof. “It can be PAN, EPIC, ration card or any other document. We have issued directions to all our Divisions to follow this rule and allow senior citizens to avail this benefit,” KSRTC Chief Traffic Manager (Commercial) G Prakash said.