Heading out of town? Brace for disruptions till Sunday

Heading out of town? Brace for disruptions till Sunday

KSRTC Buses halt for the Karnataka Bandh, called by Pro kannada organisation Forum on Mahadayi river issue, at Majetic Bus Stand, in Bengaluru on Thursday. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

With about 40% of government buses on inter-city routes being requisitioned for election duty, people heading for hometowns on Friday are going to have a tough time. The availability of cabs could be hit, too, in the next three days.

On the KSRTC website, where passengers can book bus tickets, slots were closed for almost all the routes on Thursday morning. Officials said most of the seats reserved for MPs and MLAs were booked. With this, any plan of travelling in Volvo and premium buses should be put aside.

On the other hand, the Election Commission is set to take away 5,500 red buses (Karnataka Sarige) from the KSRTC, the NWKRTC and the NEKRTC for election duty, reducing their total fleet from 15,500 buses to 10,000. The corporations have already issued statements requesting the travelling public to bear with the inconvenience.

The BMTC is providing 1,500 buses but is confident of providing adequate commuting service within the city with the remaining 4,000 buses. “Since it is Saturday as well as a government holiday, even companies in the IT/BT sector will be closed. So, there will be no demand from the service sector staffers either. We believe we can balance demand and supply,” a BMTC official said.

Expect fewer cabs on Ola and Uber platforms as drivers’ associations said 37,000 cabs were “seized” by election officials in Bengaluru and other parts of the state.

“Police are stopping vehicles in the middle of the road and commandeering them despite protests by drivers. Most of these vehicles are tied up with travel agencies or work through Ola and Uber platforms. We expect the number of seized cabs to cross 45,000 in the coming days,” said Gandasi Sadanandaswamy, of All India Drivers Federation.

Tanveer Pasha, who heads an association of Ola and Uber drivers in the city, said more than 300 cabs were forcibly taken away for election duty.

“Election officials should call tenders for vehicles instead of harassing drivers. A driver can make more money per day than what the election commission provides,” he said.