The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), on Saturday, announced that it will roll back the hike in student bus pass rates. This decision comes a day after the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) withdrew a notification announcing that it would hike student bus pass fares amidst protests from student organisations.
The Corporation reportedly took a U-turn after being directed to do so by the State government. “On Saturday, we received a communication from the Transport Department stating that the order allowing the Corporation to revise the student bus pass rate stands cancelled. We have rolled back the student bus pass rates, which will now be the same as last year,” said a BMTC official.
The decision has come has a huge relief for lakhs of students in the city as the BMTC had initially increased the bus pass rate by ₹100 to ₹200, based on whether students are in high school, PU, degree or professional colleges, among other categories.
Smart card centres
The BMTC has already started receiving online applications from students. “In a week, smart card (student bus pass) issue centres will be made operational in Majestic and other identified locations. Last year, we had issued 3.5 lakh smart cards. A majority of the cards will be renewed for the current academic year. In a couple of weeks, at least 50 centres will be made operational for issuing the cards,” said an official.
BMTC officials claimed that ‘elaborate’ arrangements have been made to ensure that there is no repeat of mistakes made last year when thousands of students thronged Majestic bus stand to get their smart cards as the Corporation's maiden attempt to deliver them to their homes failed. This year, the BMTC will open smart card centres at 90-odd places, including major bus stands and traffic transit management centres. Majestic bus stand will have 12 centres. Smart cards will be issued to students in a phased manner, said officials.
Ruckus at inauguration of Hoskote bus terminal
The inauguration of the BMTC bus terminal at Hoskote on Saturday ended in chaos after several BJP workers staged a protest and allegedly created a ruckus claiming that the organisers had not invited B.N. Bache Gowda, the newly elected Member of Parliament of Chikkaballapur. BJP workers staged a protest near the terminal and later barged inside the terminal area, said officials.
The police had a tough time controlling the mob, especially after Congress party workers entered the fray.
The inauguration took place after the police forced the supporters to leave the location. The BMTC has spent ₹20.80 crore for building the terminal on the outskirts of the city. Transport Minister D.C. Thammanna was present at the event.