Absence of proper seating arrangements in city buses, failure to operate bus service in some areas and rude behaviour of conductors dominated the transport adalat conducted on Thursday. This transport adalat had been conducted by the Regional Transport Office after a gap of three years.
Joint Transport Commissioner D. Vijayavikram, who came from Bangalore to attend it, chaired the adalat. Residents from Land Links Township and Attur and representatives from autorickshaw drivers, private bus operators participated in the programme. Regional Transport Officer C. Mallikarjuna chaired the meeting.
Muni Balakrishna from Attur said it seats reserved for women were occupied by men. “Is there a rule to mandate bus operators to reserve some seats for women?,” he said. To this, Mr. Vijayavikram said there was no rule in this regard. “The measure is a mark of courtesy. If seats are not offered to women, it is a bad reflection of culture.” Mr. Mallikarjuna said it was difficult to enforce this rule by just imposing penalties.
Mr. Balakrishna then raised the issue of width of the seats in the buses, which, he said, were less than the mandatory width prescribed by the Transport Department. The private bus operators were doing it to fill as many passengers as they could. The conductors did not issue tickets properly. “Officials need to travel in the buses to know our problems. Our representations given earlier have fallen on deaf ears,” he said. Mr. Mallikarjuna said he would carry out a drive to check the measurement of seats and find the number of standing passengers permitted for a bus. “As there is shortage of motor vehicle inspectors, we need special squads to conduct such drives,” he said. The RTO would make it compulsory for the private bus operators to issue tickets using handheld devices, which was in vogue in some buses between Thokkottu and Konaje, he said.
Uma Ganesh Hegde from Land Links Township pointed to the irregular city bus service in her area. “There is a mini bus which often goes for repair. It does not have protective bars against the seats. There have been several occasions when we have fallen off the seat and got injured.” It was difficult to catch the bus between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. when it was full. She sought to know the reason for sudden stoppage of bus route No. 60 that ran between Lady Hill and Land Links Township.
Mr. Mallikarjuna said the problems of the existing bus service had been brought to the notice of the operator. “He has assured us to put a new bus,” Mr. Mallikarjuna said and added that the area would shortly get a new bus service as a permit was being issued. Mohammed Mukkacherry from Ullal expressed the need for more permits on the route between State Bank and Ullal. At present, there were only 14 buses in this busy route. If the commuters want to have a seat they need to get into the bus only at Hampankatta. “It is taking as much as 40 minutes to reach Ullal.” Mr. Mukkacherry expressed the need for rationalising bus timing in order to reduce the time taken for the travel.
Mr. Mallikarjuna said fresh permits could not be given between State Bank and Ullal because of the ongoing widening of the national highway between Baikampady and Thokkottu. “Once the work is over, we will look into issuance of permits and rationalising of bus timings,” he said.