Asks how many buses it plies and occupancy rate in each trip

The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to furnish details of the number of buses it plies and number of trips per day, and passenger occupancy and revenue collected in each trip for a period of one month starting from February 13.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by N. Parameswaran, who had sought a direction to the BMTC to implement his suggestions on a trial basis to avoid a situation in which BMTC buses ply empty.

The petitioner, N. Parameswaran, had approached the court in 2011 with his suggestion for operating feeder and trunk routes at a particular frequency as the BMTC had not implemented his suggestion though he was its consultant.

The court in March 2012 had directed the BMTC to consider his suggestions while observing that the court hoped that the BMTC “shall not be obdurate and merely reject the petitioner’s suggestion” as he was appointed as a consultant.

Following this, the BMTC conducted a survey to find out occupancy rate at four locations and involved the petitioner in the process, and later rejected the petitioner’s suggestions citing the outcome of the survey.

However, the petitioner, who obtained data of the survey from BMTC, claimed that the survey had revealed that 409 trips (40 per cent) were totally vacant and 297 trips (30 per cent) were heavily underoccupied. From the data, the petitioner surmised that the BMTC is incurring loss estimated at Rs. 1.5 crore per day because of wastage of diesel.

To avoid the loss, Mr. Parameswaran had said in his petition that he had suggested to the BMTC to operate 3,500 buses (as against the present 6,000) as feeder services in peripheral area, and trunk services in core areas at a frequency of about 5 minutes with low fare. He said there would not be financial loss despite low fare as buses under this system will have full occupancy.

He also suggested that the BMTC should operate 2,500 buses as peak hour services with each having one trip in the morning and evening and parking them in depots for the rest of the day.

As the BMTC did not accept his suggestion, Mr. Parameswaran moved the court again because he had been given the liberty to approach it again, if necessary.

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