Today's Paper

RTA urges KSRTC to elicit public opinion on operating new bus services in city

The Dakshina Kannada Regional Transport Authority (RTA) on Monday directed the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to get public feedback on city bus service routes in Mangaluru on which the transport corporation could be permitted to operate. Chairing a meeting, Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim agreed with the KSRTC argument that the buses were being procured under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to improve urban transport and Mangaluru is one of the chosen cities. The corporation had applied for permits for 35 buses to operate from State Bank (central city bus stand) as the focal point to Katipalla, Bajpe, Shakthinagar, Ullal and Talapady.

However, seconding social activist G. Hanumanth Kamath’s argument that the proposed routes are already saturated with private operators and there are many subserviced routes in the city, Mr. Ibrahim asked the public to give their suggestions to KSRTC by April 10 in writing. They could suggest where the bus services are required. The transport corporation should designate a nodal officer to handle the suggestions received. Thereafter, KSRTC should compile a report and submit it to the RTA, which would meet again on April 20, Mr. Ibrahim said.

Advocate representing KSRTC pointed out that as per the “schemes” formed by the State government under the Road Transport Corporations Act, the transport corporations should be given priority over private operators. He said that Section 98 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which offers preferential treatment to transport corporations, overrides the District Magistrate Notification of 1991 which has capped the number of buses that can enter State Bank area in Mangaluru issued under Section 115 of the Act. As such, the notification does not apply to KSRTC and hence, permits should be granted, he argued.

The advocate also pointed out that if the RTA does not issue permits immediately, Mangaluru would be losing the opportunity of getting low-floor city buses being offered under JNNURM.

At the same time, advocates representing private operators made every attempt to thwart KSRTC’s attempt to enter the city bus service segment. Their argument ranged from contentions that JNNURM funds were not meant for bus service to KSRTC’s history of operating only on routes yielding good returns.

The meeting also gave approval to issuing permits to the Puttur division of KSRTC to operate two buses between Puttur-Kollur-Puttur via Kukke Subrahmanya, Dharmasthala, Udupi and Kundapura.

Public may submit suggestions on city bus routes for Mangaluru in writing to the Senior Divisional Controller, KSRTC, Bejai, Mangaluru 575004 by April 10.

Recommended for you