Decongesting city: Private buses profit from KSRTC's absence

Representative image

A proposal by the traffic police, KSRTC and BMTC officials to restrict the movement of private buses within the city is gathering dust in the Transport Department.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) took the lead and shifted 60 buses to Basaveshwara Bus Terminal in Peenya to decongest the city roads by preventing the movement of buses in the core area. But lack of any direction from the Transport Department has opened the doors for private buses to cash in on the opportunity.

“We have informed the Transport Department officials about the shifting of 60 buses. We have also requested shifting of private buses. We have not yet received any reply,” an official said.

In 2014, a similar attempt was made. Though it helped decongest the city roads, private operators resumed operations from Majestic citing lack of BMTC or Metro connectivity to satellite bus stations. Now, satellite bus stations are well connected and it is a good time for shifting the buses out of Majestic, officials said.

The proposal was revived by Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R Hithendra who had said that about 10,000 private buses enter the city through Tumakuru, Ballari, Mysuru and Hosur Roads and a similar number exit the city. “The movement of buses is leading to congestion. They had to be restricted to the outskirts with necessary facilities,” he had said.

Both KSRTC and BMTC submitted separate proposals supporting the idea. However, the transport officials have not taken a decision in this regard.

Transport Commissioner B Dayanand said two rounds of meetings were held with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and BMTC officials in this regard. “We had discussed several issues and planned to take it forward in the next meeting when the election code of conduct was implemented,” he said.

Private bus lobby

Private bus operators have built bus stations in Majestic and KR Market, the nerve centres of traffic movement in the city. They have been bringing pressure on officials through political leaders fearing that a sudden shift may hit their revenues.

“We have shifted 60 buses on a pilot basis. Private operators should also try it and the Transport Department should ensure this happens. There can’t be different rules for them and state transport corporations,” the KSRTC official said.

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