Transport Minister R. Ashok launched the inter-State Manipal-Kasaragod Volvo bus service here on Saturday amidst much fanfare.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation will be operating six low-floor, air-conditioned buses on the new route. The KSRTC, on March 27, introduced six Volvo buses on the Manipal-Udupi-Mangalore route.

Schedules

The trips from Manipal to Kasaragod will start at 9.15 a.m., 1.45 p.m. and 4.15 p.m. while trips from Kasaragod to Manipal will be at 8.15 a.m. 1.50 p.m. and 5.30 p.m.

There will be a Volvo bus every 30 minutes between Mangalore and Manipal. The Manipal-Kasaragod bus will stop at Udupi, Kaup, Padubidri, Mulki, Surathkal, Mangalore, Thokkottu, Manjeshwar, Hosangady, Uppala, Bandyodu and Kumble.

Fares

The fare from Manipal to Udupi has been fixed at Rs. 10 a passenger, Kaup Rs. 25, Padubidri Rs. 30, Mulki Rs. 40, Surathkal Rs. 50, Mangalore Rs. 60, Thokkuttu Rs. 85, Manjeshwar Rs. 90, Hosangady Rs. 95, Uppala Rs. 100, Bandyodu Rs. 105, Kumble Rs. 110, and Kasaragod Rs. 115. Fares from Kasaragod to Kumble will be Rs. 15, Bandyodu Rs. 20, Hosangady Rs. 30, Manjeshwar Rs. 35, Thokkottu Rs. 45, Mangalore Rs. 55, Surathkal Rs. 75, Mulki Rs. 90, Kaup 100, Udupi Rs. 110 and Manipal Rs. 115. Mr. Ashok told presspersons that the KSRTC had to struggle for 20 years to launch the bus service on the Manipal-Mangalore route. However, the Manipal-Mangalore Volvo bus service had received tremendous response from the people, he said. Mr. Ashok said there should be healthy competition between the public and private sectors in providing bus services in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. He was, however, evasive on whether ordinary KSRTC buses would be introduced on the Manipal-Mangalore route.

At the launch function, Mr. Ashok said that a modern KSRTC bus-stand would be constructed on 3.5 acres of land at Bannanje in Udupi. The Regional Transport Office would be constructed on 2.3 acres of land at Manipal at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore. A driving track would be laid here at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh. The KSRTC had secured the National Award for Excellence and other awards for quality of service, he said.

Minister for Fisheries Anand Asnotikar, MLAs Raghupati Bhat, Lalaji Mendon and Lakshminarayana, MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary and Secretary of the Transport Department M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda were among those present.

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