Plan to unclog Majestic fails; KSRTC buses back

Plan to unclog Majestic fails; KSRTC buses back

Majestic cannot be decongested unless the private bus operators are moved out, according to officials. DH FILE PHOTO

The government’s much-touted move to shift some state transport buses to Peenya to decongest Majestic has turned out to be a sham with illegal operations by private buses forcing them back. 

Following a meeting between the heads of different departments last year, it was decided to utilise the Basaveshwara Bus Station in Peenya to decongest the Kempegowda Bus Station at Majestic. On April 12, the KSRTC shifted 60 buses bound for almost all the districts situated in the north of Bengaluru. 

“The shifting of 60 buses has caused operational loss of Rs 3 lakh per day as most of our passengers shifted to private buses. The losses almost doubled during the weekends and holiday periods,” a senior KSRTC official said. 

The services were restarted from Majestic on September 10. In the five months, the corporation is estimated to have suffered a loss of about Rs 6 crore. A senior official said they had advised against moving to Peenya until the government bans private buses from operating near Majestic. 

Operating buses from the satellite bus station in Peenya had proved to be suicidal for the KSRTC back in 2014 as well when the shifting of about 650 buses had led to losses to the tune of Rs 12 crore within two months. The Peenya bus station is situated 850 metres away from the main road while private buses would pick up passengers from Tumakuru Road. 

This time, despite pressure from the government, the KSRTC was cautious and shifted only 60 buses.

“Senior officials in the government assumed that people would eventually start to board buses from Peenya. Even the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) tried to help by introducing 115 trips to the bus station every day. But nothing changed,” another official said. 

Initially, the KSRTC had claimed that the move to Peenya had helped them save fuel and time. “What is the use of saving fuel when all our passengers are boarding private buses?” the official said. 

Officials said they would write to the government to ensure restriction on the operation of private buses. “There is no point talking about decongestion if they don’t restrict private players,” the official said.