I traveled by Suresh Kallada Bus from Chennai to Ernakulam on 8th November. I boarded the bus at Auroville Junction of Pondicherry. The bus was to reach the junction at 9.20pm, but came at 9.34pm. Just 6 minutes before I got a call to tell me that the bus is on way and I must stay at the Auroville Jn. Bus started from Auroville at 9.40pm. I occupied seat G1. The bus went to Pondicherry town and from there restarted at about 10.40pm.On the way around 12 night the Radiator hose pipe got snapped and the bus came to a halt.The bus was parked on the side at the High Way near Kallaikuruchi.It was an isolated place. The crew initially did not inform us. But as time passed the passengers became inquisitive and asked. They explained the matter. But they told another bus will come and pick us up in half an hour. The crew kept talking to people in the Kallada travel offices. The Salem office was closed and no one from the Kallad office attended. In the meanwhile one of the class mates of Mr. Suresh who was chatting with Mr. Suresh who was in Dubai at that time intervened.Mr. Suresh went off line and could not be contacted. Mr. Baiju also could not be contacted. After a lot of trials, the bus driver and other crew could manage to initially send some passengers by other buses and later one bus was off loaded and was diverted to be sent to Ernakulam by boarding all the passengers of this bus which broke down.
When the whole matter got settled it was 4.10am. All the passengers were stranded for such a long time on the high way and finally reached Ernakulam nearly 6 hours late (we were told that on time the bus should reach Ernakulam at 7 am and actually reached at about 1pm.)
What surprised was the utter disregard of the Suresh Kallad Co. in passing on correct information about the action taken, if at all they have taken action. The crew were cribbing that they were also like the passengers without knowing what is happening at the head office or the nearest depot. One wonders why a spare part like a Hose pipe could not be kept for such emergencies. The crew tried their best to fix some hose pie, but for VOLVO bus, the exact spare part was needed. One does not no why the Salem depot was closed and not responding when there was such an emergency.One also wonders what would have happened if some other mishap occurred which would have put the lives of the passengers in danger. This type of difficulty may be once in a while, but such bus operators have to have arrangements to meet with all possible mishaps and emergencies. At least they must learn lessons from this emergency. Do you know what I have lost by being late for nearly 5 hours. I am only happy that I was late, but not THE LATE".