Special Correspondent

Private bus operators stick to old bus stops

Over 100 bus stops are located at intersections, near traffic signals and on narrow roadsVarious groups have appealed to shift `unscientific' bus stops

MANGALORE: Even while the Regional Transport Authority and the traffic police are making coordinated efforts to relocate certain bus stops that cause traffic bottlenecks in the city, private bus operators are adamant about using the old bus stops earmarked about 30 years back.

Traffic police and the RTA are aware of the public anger over haphazard ways of bus crew which put road users at risk. According to the Mangalore City Corporation figures, there are about 220 bus stops within the Mangalore City Corporation area from Padil to Mukka. Of this, 100-120 stops are located in spots such as intersections, near traffic signals, in blind corners, next to circles and on narrow roads.

According to Mayor K. Ashraf, Mangalore city has grown tremendously in last 10 years and its road structure, city layout and population as well as the vehicular traffic have undergone changes. The administration should take adequate care to adapt to the changes and review them often.

Regional Transport Authority Chairman and Deputy Commissioner M. Maheshwara Rao has directed bus owners to tell their drivers not to speed in a bid to pick up more passengers. The direction was given at the RTA meeting held on Tuesday.

Traffic police feel that the present location of bus stops in the city blocks traffic, causes accidents and also reduces passenger comfort. Mangalore-based Action Group for the Elderly (AGE) finds the present location of bus stops highly unscientific and dangerous for the elderly. One of them is the bus stop at Karavali Circle in Kankanady that is located just 10 feet away from the curve and about 50 away from circle. Bus shelters at this point serve no purpose as buses stop one after another extending up to Kunil complex.

Other such bus stops are Lady Hill, PVS Circle, Milagres, Navabharat Circle, Car Street, Temple Square, Bunts Hostel Circle.

Last year, the RTA ordered the Jyothi Circle (now re-named Ambedkar Circle) had been shifted to Balmatta. Various groups such as AGE and Nagarika Hitarakshana Samithi, have appealed to the RTA to relocate such bus stands to safer places.