KARNATAKA

KSRTC incurs additional cost

Govind D. Belgaumkar

MANGALORE: The Mangalore division of the Karnataka State Road Transport (KSRTC) is incurring an additional cost of Rs. 50,000 a day as it has diverted its Airavata (Volvo) services on account of the poor condition of the road in the Shiradi Ghat section.

Mangalore Divisional Traffic Officer G.T. Prabhakara Reddy told The Hindu that the Volvo services — 20 of them are being operated now — ply on Charmadi Ghat and go via Puttur, Sullia, Madikeri and Mysore instead of Uppinangady, Shiradi Ghat, Sakleshpur and Hassan. The buses now cover an additional 40 km each way.

The division had initially diverted 15 night (Airavata) services to Charmadi Ghat but it had resort to diverting even day services owing to damage being caused to the fuel tank on account of deterioration of the Shiradi Ghat Road. The replacement of a tank would cost over Rs. 2 lakh, Mr. Reddy said. The low-floor Volvo buses could not be run in the Shiradi Ghat section, he said.

Mr. Reddy said the time taken by buses too had gone up by one hour owing to the road condition. These buses were taking about nine hours to reach Bangalore when operating via Shiradi Ghat.

The Volvo services used to reach the destination in about seven hours when the road was in good condition, he said.

He said the Rajahamsa services and other bus services were still being operated on the Shiradi Ghat route and they were taking more than five hours even to cross the ghat section. The journey time of all buses had gone up because of road condition, he said. The KSRTC diverted the night services from October 15 and day services from November 1.

Mr. Reddy said KSRTC may have to incur more operating cost if the Shiradi Ghat is closed for repair.

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