Students caught off guard as bus pass system crashes

A serpentine queue of students at the Majestic terminal. (DH Photo/Ranju P)

The BMTC's ambitious plan to make the student pass distribution system online has hit a wall. 

Thousands of college students who applied online have been told they have to stand in queues to get the passes, resulting in serpentine queues at the Kempegowda (Majestic) bus station. Although the BMTC has extended the last date to October 31, thousands of oblivious students continue to line up at the terminal every day. 

The online system worked well for schoolchildren and most of the second-year PUC students, as applications were filled with information from a database and had unique numbers. But most of those braving the scalding sun now are students of first-year PUC, graduate and professional courses who blame officials for the confusion. 

"My daughter applied online two months ago but the online status says the application is under process and yet to be approved by the college. We approached the college which said all applications have been cleared," said Kempegowda, whose daughter studies at Government PU College, Malleswaram. 

Akash H, a student at Government Industrial Training Institute, Tumakuru Road, said many conductors insist students buy tickets although the BMTC has allowed them to travel by showing an acknowledgement of the pass application, the college fee receipt and the ID. 

System crashes

The BMTC has been overwhelmed by the issues. Its managing director, V Ponnuraj, said 70,000-odd applications were rejected by the system because of wrong entries. 

"Some students have entered multiple enrolment numbers, leading to overlapping and duplication of applications. Some applications have been rejected as high-resolution images and even videos were uploaded in place of passport-size pictures," he said. 

The transporter generally issues about three lakh passes every year. While about 1.7 lakh passes have been processed online this year, the remaining have been either rejected or delayed. 

An official said the web application developed by the Centre for E-governance did not have enough server capacity and crashed once large files were uploaded. "It is the first such initiative. Most of the issues will be fixed by the next round," the official added.

How to avoid the queue?

The BMTC is processing about 5,000 applications every day, including 1,000 at the Shanthinagar bus station. Students can book an appointment and come at the time of their convenience instead of standing in queues. 

Students can visit http://pass.bmtcits.com:8080/Pass_Tracking/ to make an appointment by providing enrolment and phone numbers. 

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