RTA asked the KSRTC to withdraw four schedules following objections
People of Mudipu and surrounding areas, who had rejoiced at the introduction of KSRTC city service by distributing sweets and garlanding the buses, are aggrieved with recent withdrawal of peak hour services following objections by private operators.
Introduction of the KSRTC service had raised high hopes of providing friendlier bus service for the city. But the move has come as a dampener.
People of Mudipu who had staged several demonstrations seeking better facilities once again took to the streets as four of the 18 round trips to the area have been withdrawn. Mudipu and surrounding areas – a busy route for bus operators – boast well-known colleges, software companies and Mangalore University.
People, who are forced to travel on footboards of buses, were demanding introduction of more KSRTC buses but the news of cut in the services has come as disappointment.
On Tuesday, people staged a protest demanding reintroduction of the withdrawn services. They have even threatened to strengthen the agitation if their demands are not fulfilled. Abdul Jaleel, a resident of Mudipu, said the cut in the number of KSRTC bus service had added to the woes of the people. He said there were many instances of commuters falling from footboards of buses.
Suresh Ira of Mudipu feared that withdrawal of government buses would benefit the private operators, whose services were erratic and behaviour of the crew was not satisfactory.
Hanumanth Kamath from Nagarika Hitrakshana Vedike said the RTA’s decision to cancel permits to Mudipu showed the authority favouring private bus operators. Mr. Kamath said the authority was not bound by the 1992 notification meant to cater to population 20 years ago. “The situation has changed now and the Deputy Commissioner is authorised to take a decision accordingly,” he said.
Mudipu was one of the eight areas where KSRTC services were introduced in August. Four of the 18 round trips to Mudipu were cancelled following an order issued by the Regional Transport Authority on October 31.
While authorities had been maintaining that four services withdrawn from Mudipu were diverted to Ullal as directed, people of the area said this was not a fact.
KSRTC sources said on Thursday evening that the services were introduced just then (Thursday evening).
The RTA headed by Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda reviewed the grant of 18 temporary permits to Mudipu following a petition by the private bus operators, who questioned the decision of permitting 18 trips to Mudipu before the State Transport Authority and the Karnataka High Court. The bus operators contended that grant of temporary permits was in violation of the 1992 notification issued by the then Deputy Commissioner that banned any new permits to and from the State Bank Circle.
An official from the KSRTC said withdrawal of four trips had reduced frequency of services. It was earning around Rs. 28 a km as against the expense of Rs. 25 for running buses to Mudipu.