Buses cancelled on long weekends leaves passengers in lurch

Travel plans of several people went awry last week as the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) cancelled some of their services due to "technical reason."

With no alternatives, passengers were left in the lurch and had to travel by private buses by paying inflated fare.

“I had to take a bus from Hosapete to Bengaluru on Saturday night and I got a message from the KSRTC stating that the bus has been cancelled and that the inconvenience is regretted. I tried calling the helpline mentioned on the ticket, but there was no reply. I was forced to pay double fare and travel by a private bus,” said S Sadar, a tourist from Hampi. Sadar was one of the many to face this inconvenience. It was long weekend on account of festival holidays.

The NEKRTC Managing Director H S Ashokanand said that some buses were cancelled as the ACs were not working. Some passengers were accommodated in non-AC buses. “We normally keep some buses in the depots on standby. But due to the holiday rush, all the buses were full and no luxury buses were available. This is a rare instance and the matter will be examined in detail,” he said.

KSRTC Managing Director S R Umashankar too admitted to the cancellations due to technical reasons and said that alternative arrangement was made by roping in private buses. He added that he had received complaints of private bus operators fleecing passengers.

Meanwhile, the state-run transport corporation will introduce21 additional luxury buses on all major routes. “We have placed orders for 21 Volvo sleeper coaches. At present, we offer only chair cars in Volvo, but sleeper services will be introduced by October," Umashankar said. The rates will go up by 10% to 15% and the number of seats will come down.

"Passengers want luxury and the demand for such services is increasing. This will also help in meeting the peak demand,” he added.

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