Absence of inter-State services irks passengers at Attibele checkpost

Travellers between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu crossing the border at Attibele checkpost in Bengaluru on Sunday; (right) Kerala vehicles entering Karnataka via Tamil Nadu at Attibele checkpost on the day.  

The absence of inter-State bus services between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is proving to be a sore point for passengers at the Attibele checkpost. People with children and luggage in tow have no option but to get off one bus, cross the border on foot, and board another bus in the neighbouring State. More often than not, social distancing norms and other COVID-19 rules are being ignored as people line up to board buses.



Regular commuters, frustrated by the lack of proper transport facilities, have questioned the logic behind banning inter-State services but running buses till the border even while auto drivers are making a killing by hiking fares.

When contacted, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) officials blamed the Tamil Nadu government for not allowing inter-State services. “After the peak of the second wave of COVID-19, we resumed services to other States, but the Tamil Nadu government has not yet lifted the ban. We faced a similar situation last year too. In fact, in 2020, Tamil Nadu was the last State to give the green signal to resume services. This time, too, we are yet to receive the go-head. If the Tamil Nadu government allows it, we are ready to provide services,” said a senior KSRTC official.

Prior to the pandemic, KSRTC was operating 500 buses to Attibele, of which 250 were from Bengaluru alone. It currently operates just around 70-80 buses from Bengaluru to Attibele check post.



Every day hundreds of people travel between Bengaluru and Hosur for work, and they are not happy with the continued ban on inter-State services. “There is no logic in banning the inter-State bus services when people are moving freely. On the other hand, train services between the two States are operational. Allowing bus services and ensuring that COVID-19 protocol is being followed will be safer than this,” said one passenger.

Passengers also accused autorickshaw drivers and private van drivers of fleecing them by charging exorbitant fares.

Drop in ridership from Kerala

The KSRTC is also operating buses to Kerala from Bengaluru. However, the number of people travelling from Kerala to the city also dropped after the State government made it mandatory that they produce negative RT-PCR reports. “Prior to COVID-19, we operated 25 buses to Kerala from Bengaluru. Now, it has come down to two or three, and that too with poor occupancy,” said the official.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 6:37:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/absence-of-inter-state-services-irks-passengers-at-attibele-checkpost/article35673371.ece

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