Anil Kumar Sastry

This is to cater to the increasing demand in southern States

Latest agreement with Kerala was signed

on August 25

Karwar-Kozhikode, Karwar-Kasaragod and Hubli-Kannur services likely

BANGALORE: After a gap of nearly a decade, Karnataka signed inter-State transport agreements with neighbouring States to introduce over 2,500 new schedules on inter-State routes, in addition to the 4,600 schedules already under operation.

The agreements have come as a big relief for Road Transport Corporations of southern States as the introduction of new buses would cater to the ever-increasing demand for inter-State connectivity.

Of the new schedules being introduced on various routes, nearly 1,200 buses belong to Road Transport Corporations of neighbouring States while 1,300 buses are from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC).

The latest among these inter-State agreements is the one with Kerala when Karnataka Transport Minister R. Ashok signed the pact with his Kerala counterpart Mathew Thomas on August 25 in Bangalore.

With this agreement, Karnataka corporations can operate 86 buses to Kerala in addition to the existing 200 buses, while Kerala State Road Transport Corporation can operate 87 buses to Karnataka in addition to the existing 200 buses.

The agreement has also facilitated NWKRTC’s plan to introduce direct services between Karwar and Kozhikode, Karwar and Kasaragod and Hubli and Kannur. While the earlier agreements, signed during 1998-99, had provided for operation of extra buses on inter-State routes during festival seasons, the recent agreements have an additional feature. The transport corporations can operate extra buses during weekends considering the huge demand for transport at the time.

While over 250 of the newly introduced 2,500 buses will be operated between Karnataka’s capital Bangalore and other inter-State destinations, the agreements have paved the way for increasing the frequency of services on popular routes, namely, Bangalore-Chennai, Bangalore-Coimbatore, Bangalore-Hyderabad, Bangalore-Kannur, Karwar-Panaji, Mangalore-Kasaragod, Hubli-Pune and the like. Also, the corporations can introduce services to new destinations, said a senior KSRTC official.

New services

The new agreements enable Karnataka corporations to deploy 300 buses to Tamil Nadu, 350 to Maharashtra, 450 to Andhra Pradesh and 87 to Goa. Karnataka corporations are already operating 200 buses to Tamil Nadu, 800 to Maharashtra, 900 to Andhra Pradesh and 150 to Kerala.

Similarly, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation can operate 256 new buses to Karnataka in addition to the existing 1,000; Tamil Nadu corporations 315 buses in addition to the existing 200, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation 460 buses in addition to 950 and Kadamba Transport Corporation (Goa) 40 buses in addition to 100.