JnNURMwoes: Minister warns action against officials

District In-Charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj warned of stringent action against the RTO and other officials, if they join hands with private bus operators and create obstacles for the plying of newly introduced JnNRUM buses in the district.

Raising the issue at quarterly KDP meeting here on Friday, the minister said that the RTO and other officials are responsible for repeated high court stay order brought by the private bus operators.

He charged that the KSRTC buses are always stopped by unnecessary charges accused by the private bus operators. The failure of the RTO and other officials have led to the debacle in the move from the government set-up. The RTO is also lagging behind in giving permits to the JNNRUM buses as he is being compassionate for private bus operators, he charged.

The bus passes are issued for the students. However, the buses are not running in the routes and students are put to trouble, he said and suspected private bus operators' lobby at the RTO office.

KSRTC chairman and Byndoor MLA Gopal Poojary said that 134 new buses are purchased and Udupi will also be assured of some buses to press into service into the rural areas. He urged the RTO to issue permits to the buses.

Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis enquired about the joint report survey for the permits to be sanctioned. She insisted that along with private bus operators, KSRTC should also be one member in the party.

On the issue of increasing number of accidents in the national highway, SP Dr Sanjeev Patil said 3,194 accidents have taken place from 2011 to September 30, 2017 in the Hejmadi-Kundapur stretch. In this, 717 deaths and 3,851 injuries are recorded.

Emphasising on the unsafe highway design, he condemned the lackadaisical approach of the national highway authority.

A structural design report which highlights the structural deficiencies of the national highway is sought by the experts from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). There is no speed breakers or required amount of illumination on the stretches at crucial junctions and medians. The areas are not properly lighted. Following the report based on the loopholes, the National Highway Authority of India and the concerned company will be prosecuted as per the law, he warned.

The SP said that police were not involved when the design for the stretch was made.

The Byndoor MLA alleged that the underpass work as the Navunda Junction is stopped without any prior intimation. The RBI Company which is involved in the construction work hold the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner as responsible. However, the project director himself has ordered for the work to be stopped. The company had demanded police protection as there was public objection for the construction, which was offered. Despite the police protection and all other assurances fulfilled, the company is least bothered to resume the work which is creating problem to the pedestrians and also huge number of students, he charged.

The minister directed the DC to call a meeting of NHAI officials along with the company responsible and also asked her for spot inspection. The meeting is scheduled on November 27.

Bhatkal assistant commissioner will also be part of the meeting as he is the land acquisition officer, the DC said.

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