Residents suffer as operators neither run nor allow others to run buses

With lack of adequate bus facilities traveling has become a nightmare for residents of Adyarpadavu, Merlapadavu and Arkulapadavu near Neermarga.

More than 500 people and 1,500 students from these areas travel to city daily. However, lack of buses especially during peak hours is posing a problem.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Neermarga Gram Panchayat Member and Sugrama Taluk Secretary Celine Saldanha reveals that a few private bus owners put stay-order if other bus owners apply for permit to travel in these areas.

However, these owners neither increase their trips nor travel to the areas they are supposed to.

"The 21A bus is permitted to travel to Valachil Padavu. However, they stop their services at Merlapadavu. Residents from these areas have to walk nearly three kilometers. The 4E bus is supposed to travel from Merlapadavu to Mangaladevi via Bunts Hostel-Jyothi route but this bus travels only two trips in this route and for other trips it takes short-cut and travels via St Agnes," she regretted.

She also added that the interval between different buses in the area is 50 minutes. Many buses that ply in these routes don't maintain time. Many stop for around 20 minutes near Neermarga.

Most of the students and employed people who travel to Mangalore prefer the 7.30 am and 8.30 am bus. The bus is over-packed everyday and people are seen traveling on foot board. If students opt to go in the next bus, they will be late to school.

"During exam days, many students travel at 6.30 am to avoid the risk of reaching late to the exam," says a student from the area. She also adds that the rickshaw fare from Neermarga to Merlapadavu is Rs 60, which cannot be afforded by many.

Celine says that the residents have been asking for buses since 2007 and have approached to the RTO several times with the issue. However, when RTO tries to allow other bus owners, the existing ones put a stay. The RTO has written a letter to KSRTC to introduce buses from these areas and have also assured immediate permission.

However, no response has been received from KSRTC till date, she regrets.

"The residents in these areas are suffering. We want the RTO to take immediate measures and introduce extra buses especially during the peak morning hours. We also want bus facilities from Merlapadavu to Surathkal and Merlapadavu to Talapady," demanded Celine Roshni Travels Owner which runs 21A and 4E bus was unwilling to reveal her name nor give details on the issue to Deccan Herald. "The residents are lying. There are no such problems," she said.

Regional Transport Officer C Mallikarjuna said that the RTO has issued permit for two buses to ply from Arakulapadavu. "The KSRTC buses are not willing to ply from these areas due to the lack of revenue. If private bus owners are interested, they can apply for permit to ply in these areas," he said.

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