Visakhapatnam: The Road Transport Authority (RTA) has seized 14 private buses of various travel operators in Vizag city for fleecing passengers and also registered cases against management of another 15 private buses for various violations which include transporting goods, use of unfit buses and other petty cases.

 The cases were booked on Friday. The Deputy Transport Commissioner (DTC), Vizag, S Venkateswara Rao, told this correspondent that taking advantage of the passengers’ rush, private bus operators have illegally charged excess money from the people heading their home towns for a three-day Sankranti festival.

The bus fares have been jacked up by almost 100 to 150 per cent.  The passengers in the private buses told several times to the officials that APSRTC and railways have failed to clear the passengers rush during the Sankranti and as a result they were being forced to pay more.

 The DTC appealed to the people to inform the RTA over phone or directly if the private buses have charged more amount for return journey.

 He also advised the passengers that before boarding the bus, they should check the condition of the driver and whether the bus was being stopped several times for repairs.