The corporation now runs buses to over 25,000 villages in State
The four State Road Transport Corporations (SRTCs) have been providing transport facility to over 25,000 villages in the State, even as about 6,000 villages are yet to be connected by the State-owned bus services.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the largest among the four in terms of coverage and number of buses, has covered 14,003 villages in its jurisdiction while it has not provided services to about 6,000 villages, according to Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy.
Similarly, the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation has been providing services to 4,593 villages and 145 villages remain unconnected while the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation is operating services to 4,499 villages leaving out 155 villages in its jurisdiction.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has provided services to all the villages (about 2,300) under its jurisdiction - Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and parts of Ramanagaram districts, Mr. Reddy said.
According to KSRTC Managing Director N. Manjunatha Prasad, majority of areas under KSRTC’s jurisdiction are non-nationalised routes and the corporation requires permits from regional transport authorities (RTAs) of the districts concerned to operate services.
“Still, we have covered over 60 per cent of geographical area under non-nationalised sector while the rest of the area is being served by private operators,” he said.
Mr. Prasad also said more than 600 applications by the KSRTC seeking permits to operate services in non-nationalised sectors are pending before different RTAs. He said the corporation irrespective of profitability of routes, is committed to operating services to villages which have absolutely no connectivity even if they come under the non-nationalised sector.
KSRTC’s jurisdiction extends over districts of Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mandya, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Urban and Rural, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Tumkur, Kolar, Chickballapur, Chitradurga and Davanagere districts.
While Hassan district and Bangalore City are the only two regions which are completely nationalised, selected routes are nationalised in the remaining districts.
KSRTC General Manager (Operations) K.S. Vishwanath said 97 per cent of villages are covered in fully nationalised sectors.
On the other hand, almost all the areas coming under the NWKRTC and the NEKRTC are fully nationalised and majority of the villages have been covered by them.
While Uttara Kannada, Belgaum, Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag, Bagalkot and Bijapur districts come under the NWKRTC, Bellary, Koppal, Raichur, Gulbarga, Yadgir and Bidar come under the NEKRTC.
The Transport Minister said non-operation of services in many villages was due to lack of motorable roads as well as lack of route permits. As and when the villages get motorable roads and KSRTC gets permits, the corporations would operate services to these villages, he said.
Meanwhile, there appears to be a mismatch in the numbers provided by the RTCs and the Census authorities. While there are 27,481 villages in the State as per the 2011 Census, RTCs accounts come to nearly 32,000 villages.
Mr. Vishwanath said this was due to erroneous classification of habitats with just four-five houses and abandoned villages as villages. The anomaly is being set right, he added.