Lorries in long queue, short-distance private buses ply inside Bengaluru

Better-prepared travellers face less hardship

Private buses, lorries and other goods vehicles continued to be stopped at designated points outside the City for the second day on Tuesday as part of the plan to decongest the roads during Invest Karnataka-2016 scheduled for February 3 to 5.

Passengers were better prepared on Tuesday. After alighting from private buses at the designated points, they caught BMTC and KSRTC buses to the City. But the ordeal of walking one kilometre could not be avoided in the early parts of the day and at around noon. People were seen boarding BMTC buses at the Hoskote toll plaza where buses were seized and asked to return. Passengers at different places had to wait in the sun for BMTC buses.

The police and RTO officials were strict at the Hoskote plaza compared to other checkpoints like Attibele, Mysuru Road, Ballari Road and Tumakuru Road. While long-distance private buses were not allowed to ply, stage carriage buses or buses coming in from local areas like Malur, Kolar, Chintamani, Anekal and other places were being allowed. That’s why one could see a few short-distance buses in the City. Some were being allowed, some were asked to return. There was a mild confusion over whether to completely ban them or not. This was also the case on the first day.

Bus Owners Association secretary K N Ramesh said some long-distance and short-distance buses dropped off people early in the morning before 6 to be able to leave before 7. A lot of buses were seen in Kalasipalyam bus station, all scheduled to leave after 10 pm. Some buses came in through alternative routes and short-cuts between 10 am and 10 pm. Overall, while the seizing at different points continued on the second day, some stage carriage buses were seen plying within the City.

Lorries faced a complete ban. According to G S Shanmugappa, Lorry Owners and Agents Association president, lorries were the hardest hit by the ban. Lorries are waiting over a distance of around seven km from the entry point of Tumakuru Road. No loading or unloading has happened throughout the day. Vegetable loads could not enter the Peenya market and the APMC yard. Vegetable loads also could not be brought out of the APMC yard. In the process, farmers are also suffering.

“Our losses are mounting to around Rs 70 crore. Also, how can the authorities assume that drivers can stay in the lorries from 6 am to 10 pm? It is inhuman. Taking all these factors into consideration, we have written a letter to the chief minister drawing his attention to our problems. We even met the Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem and he said generally we will look into the matter and take a decision. I hope the authorities take us seriously. We stand to lose a lot,” Shanmugappa said.

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