A trip on Elyarpadavu-State Bank route leaves commuters gasping for breath

While the men and boys hang on to dear life, the women, girls, and children are packed into the overcrowded bus on the Elyarpadavu-State Bank route, during peak hours.

Residents of the villages coming under four gram panchayats depend on the bus service that connects Elyarpadavu to State Bank “either fully or partially,” according to Ibrahim, a resident of Madaka in Amblamogaru and Democratic Youth Federation of India member.

Peak hour rush

Residents of the villages, especially Amblamogaru and Munnur, find it difficult to commute by the bus for an hour in the morning and evening as it was overcrowded. A 20-year-old girl who requested anonymity said that the situation remained unchanged ever since she was in high school.

“Boys fall on us all the time, and we cannot do anything,” she says. Sometimes they may not be at fault, she says, because the bus is so crowded. But that did not take away the discomfort of having someone fall on you.

Agony

Mr. Ibrahim says: “The conductors herd us like goats, even when there is no place. They scold the children for carrying their (school) bags. The women and children find it very difficult and the boys climb to the roof of the bus.”

Twenty-four year old Suhan (name changed) boards the bus at Madaka and travels up to Thokottu for work. “The situation is so bad that even women have to stand on the footboard,” he says. He too has to stand on the footboard. “We have to get to work, don't we?” he says. If a government bus was introduced, “everything would be fine”.

Petition

After much running from pillar to post, many appeals to the Deputy Commissioner and even a boycott of the bus in 2010, the residents of the area managed to get the Regional Transport Authority to grant a government bus service. However, the bus was withdrawn citing lack of commuters, Mr. Ibrahim says.

Regional Transport Officer C. Mallikarjuna says he is new to the post but will speak to KSRTC authorities on Wednesday and try to solve the problem.

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