As KSRTC plans long routes, expert warn of shortcomings

As KSRTC plans long routes, expert warn of shortcomings

Buses to be run from Bangalore on a trial basis to far-flung places in Gujarat and Rajasthan.  

In what may be termed a far-fetched move, the KSRTC is getting ready to provide connectivity from Bangalore to far-flung places in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The journey will be 40 hours and longer.

If officials are to be believed, the KSRTC has already done the ground work to start the services. But the long journey could really be taking a toll on the commuters as well as buses. Transport experts say the move is not quite viable. 

As of now, the farthest KSRTC bus service is from Bangalore to Shirdi, which is a little over 1,000 km. 

The Bangalore-Mumbai service is about 1,000 km. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, a driver after every eight hours of driving should take rest and the second driver is required to drive on. 

However, in the proposed services, the journey will take a toll on the drivers for continuous driving, even if it is on an alternate basis. Passenger safety will also be at risk.

The biggest problem could be of lavatory facility as even multi-axle buses do not have it. The buses would have at least a dozen stoppages for the passengers to relieve themselves on the way, making the journey longer. 

Inter-state agreements

A KSRTC official said that the decision to ply buses on such long-distance routes was taken as part of inter-state agreements with other state transport utilities. It was observed that private players were cashing in on the absence of state-run buses on these routes, given the huge rush to travel to cities in Gujarat and Rajasthan. 

There is a sizable population of those hailing from these states in Bangalore.

The agreement to run buses to important cities in Gujarat like Surat and Ahmedabad has been signed. 

The one with Rajasthan government is awaiting the secretary-level nod.

N Manjunath Prasad, Managing Director of KSRTC, told Deccan Herald: “We are yet to finalise the buses to Rajasthan and vice versa. As far as the drivers are concerned, we can have four drivers-cum-conductors. 

On a regular basis

However, lavatory facilities cannot be provided as the buses we get are not equipped for it. We will run buses on a trial basis first. Only after getting a satisfactory response from our staff and passengers will these services be introduced on a regular basis.”

 Lokesh Hebbani, transport expert with the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning of the Indian Institute of Science, said, “Before starting such long-distance services, it is wise to conduct some sort of study to ensure feasibility for passengers as well as buses and the crew involved.

 Even though the roads are good, the safety of passengers, wear and tear of buses (even if they are new) and fatigue of the crew are of paramount importance and should be taken care of.”

An orthopedician from a state-run hospital said that it will also have to be seen as how many people will actually like to travel in a bus for such long distances as it could take a toll on their bodies due to sitting in one posture.

Low-budget air tickets

Another key factor is the low-budget air tickets which are available nowadays. 

“When the fares of flights are so competitive, why would I would want to go through the ordeal of sitting in a bus for two-and-a-half days just to save a few hundred rupees,” asked Rohini, a native of Jaipur who works in Bangalore. 

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