Some people and merchant organisations of Kumta are opposing the closure of the old bus stand, after a new bus stand was inaugurated a week ago. The new bus stand, inaugurated by Uttara Kannada district in-charge Minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, is situated on the National Highway 17.

The bus stand was shifted out of the town because of traffic congestion. Every day, more than 500 buses pass through Kumta apart from rural buses. So the bus stand was shifted near the national highway, KSRTC officials said.

But some merchants argued that shifting of the bus stand to the outskirts had affected their business. The people could not easily reach the market, they said.

The people of the village who come to Kumta had to take autorickshaws to reach the market, putting extra burden on the people, they said.

However, the KSRTC officials denied this and said that as of now people were allowed to travel from the new bus stand to old bus stand in KSRTC buses free of cost. There were people who were supporting the stand of the KSRTC official.

Merchant lobby

“It is the merchants lobby who is opposing the shifting of bus stand,” said Gajanan Hegde, a college student from Mirjan village.

He said the buses on rural routes were allowed to go to the old bus stand, and only the long-route buses were denied entry to the old bus stand.

The supporters of the old bus stand held a protest on Saturday in Kumta and said they would intensify their agitation if the status quo was not restored.

Merchants said that shifting of the bus stand had affected their business