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Rs. 50 cr. to be spent on facilities at bus stands

By Our Staff Correspondent

BAGALKOT DEC. 28. The Chairman of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), R.V. Devraj, has said Rs. 50 crore will be spent on improving the infrastructure at bus stands in North Karnataka.

He was speaking at a function to mark the laying of the foundation stone for a bus depot at Guledgudda town, near here, on Saturday.

Mr. Devaraj said that besides providing basic amenities such as toilets, bathrooms, drinking water, rest-rooms, and refreshment counters at bus stands, steps would be taken to set up computerised reservation systems in all important centres.

Referring to initial opposition to the creation of independent divisions within the KSRTC, he said that the move had helped the institution to overcome its financial difficulty. The KSRTC, which used to incur huge losses in the past, had registered a profit of Rs. 112 crore profit in the last financial year, and the figure was likely to touch Rs. 150 crore in the present fiscal.

Claiming that the reforms initiated had made corporation one of the most competent organisations, he said it was not behind any private transport operator in providing value-added service.

Volvo buses

Mr. Devaraj said that more hi-tech buses were being introduced between different stations. Air-conditioned Volvo buses would be run on the Bangalore-Bijapur, Bangalore-Bagalkot, and Hubli-Mumbai routes from January 26, he announced.

Mr. Devraj said he had asked the officials of the North-West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) to introduce "Bijapur Darshan'' tourist buses on the lines of the Karnataka Tourism Department's buses covering historical places. They would help provide tourists safe and comfortable transport at low rates and improve tourism in the region.

The local MLA and the President of Krishna Command Area Development Authority, S.G. Nanjaiahnmath, S.R. Patil, MLC, spoke.

Mr. Devaraj inaugurated a bus-stand and depot at Talikot town in Muddebihal taluk. He flagged off the Talikot-Bangalore-Mysore bus on the occasion. C.S. Nadagouda, local MLA and Government Chief Whip, presided over the function.

More buses for NWKRTC

Addressing presspersons in Hubli, Mr. Devaraj said 466 buses would be added to the fleet of the NWKRTC. While the KSRTC would provide 166 new buses, including 10 Rajahamsa buses, 300 private buses would be introduced.

Mr. Devaraj said that the Rs. 50-crore plan for the development of transport infrastructure was expected to be completed by 2005. Fifty per cent of the work on building bus stations and improving facilities was done. In Bijapur, the first phase of development was over, and work on the second phase had been taken up at a cost of Rs. 7 crore.

It was planned to provide a new bus stand and new depot at Haveri, he added.

He said the North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) had started earning a profit this year. Earlier, Mr. Devaraj inaugurated a Rs. 2.50 crore project for asphalting the new-bus-stand area in Hubli.

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