Reading at the comments above, I wonder if there is any use of adding one more comment. I wonder even if anyone at Kallada ever read these. If you do, please send me a line acknowledging your seeing my mail.
I was passenger of Kallada last on September 8, 2009, from Bangalore to Thrissur bus no 7200, seat nos 31 and 32. It was scheduled to leave at 8.30pm and we were told to arrive at the office at 8pm. The bus came after 9pm and left by 9.30pm.
There after, it stopped at several places within the city for different lengths of time, without any apparent reason and without any explanation.
The bus was scheduled to reach Thrissur but reached at 9am, two hours late.
All those things probably could be explained away as incidental or whatever. But there were certain things that could probably be addressed and improved.
There were many women in the bus and some of them had become absolutely miserable by morning because of the absence of a toilet break. For more than 12 hours, they were suppposed to sit tight without attending to the nature's call!.
In fact, the bus did stop at a petrol station which indeed had a rest room, though its condition was pathetic. But the bus staff wouldn't tell the passengers who were ignorant of such a facility.
In fact, the attitude of the staff was pathetic. The driver and his helper would stop wherever they pleased and go off the bus. The sleeping passengers will not even know. Since I personally was very alert and did not trust my own bladder I was virtually awake most of the time and would finish off my job on the sly at road sides. Women obviously couldn't do such a thing.
In the morning, the bus stopped at Palakkad Kallada office for a long timeeven though it was running late. The driver went inside and leisurely freshened up himself and may be had breakfast as well! But, the passengers had no such facility. They simply sit inside without even knowing how long they will have to wait.
But the most important lapse I found was the design of the bus and the attitude of the cleaner. When the cleaner's seat is open the door to the passenger's cabin cannot be opened! it means that all the passengers are trapped inside the bus with no way to get out. Often, the driver and the boy would get out and go somewhere with the helper's seat open. When passengers try to open the cabin door, it will not.Imagine having an emergeny in the passenger cabin - like a fire or something else. God forbid, but everyone will be burnt alive. THIS MUST BE LOOKED INTO URGENTLY.
Then, the attitude of the staff. Why don't they tell the passengers where are they stopping, why are they stopping and for how long? The passengers are treated like cattle, as if they are not entitled to know anything. Even when you ask them something, they dont like it. One doesn't get a proper answer.
I even suspect (I am not sure) that some of them consume alcohol before taking the wheel (I overhead some discussion among drivers on the subject). I have nothing against drinking but they shouldn't do so before driving. So many lives are at stake.
Half way into the journey the driver changed. The attitude of both the drivers, particularly the second one, could do with a lot of improvement. They picked up arguments with other drivers all along the way. The second driver even had a tiff with the highway police (I don't know what the fault was) and I know the police was indeed very rude and abusive. But that is another story.
By the way, two days previously (Sept 6), when we were going to Bangalore from TCR, we had booked sleepers but were provided with reclining seats for half the journey. Not only the service paid for was not provided but the passengers was hugely inconvenienced because of the changeover in the middle of the night, with bag and baggage. We demand a refund of the ticket amount for services contracted but not provided. There was not even an apology from anyone. We intend to reach a logical conclusion to this issue. I am a journalist and I know where to go for solutions.
A satisfatory response is expected within a week.
Thanking you and with warm regards,