No end in sight over wait for city transport in Kolar

No end in sight over wait for city transport in Kolar

Citizens disappointed by political squabbling over inauguration

No end in sight over wait  for city transport in Kolar

The wait for City transport has gone on more than 10 years, but so have the promises for the system, made by the local representatives.

The new buses brought in for the City transport mostly remain unused in the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) depot. Some of the buses are used, but only as part of the Samparka Sarige for rural transport, to places like Chintamani and Malur.

Residents of the City are forced to keep watching the buses, wondering if they will ever get access to the buses, to travel just within the City.

The dream of having such a system goes back more than a decade, to 2001. A few years ago, there was a transport system for a few days, but the City has never been provided with a transport system full scale.

N Manjunath Prasad, managing director of the KSRTC, visited the City on April 29, and said the Transport Minister R Ashoka would inaugurate the city transport on May 5. It is already two months since, but the transport system is still not here.

There were fresh preparations for inauguration on June 29, but the tussle within the government resulted in a postponement of the programme.

The KSRTC has provided 16 buses to the Kolar unit for city transport. The first six buses were necessarily to be used for plying in the City.

The inauguration was suddenly put off, and the buses were used for rural transport on the Kolar-Chintamani-Malur route and also the Kolar-Kolar Gold Fields route.

Sources attribute the failure in setting up of a city transport system to frequent transfer of the divisional control officers of the KSRTC.

Auto-bus tussle

Auto rickshaw drivers would be the mostly affected section if a transport system is introduced in the City.

District In-charge Minister R Varthur Prakash has been accused of postponing inauguration of the city transport in order to appease auto rickshaw drivers and owners, who were allegdely opposed to the inauguration.

K V Suresh, honorary president of the District Three-wheeler Drivers’ and Owners’ Association, denied the allegation.

“We have not met the minister, complaining of problems if the transport system is introduced. In fact, we too hope the City gets an environment-friendly transport system.

If otherwise, we would have already staged protests, opposing the system,” he argued.
Sources add that KSRTC has requested the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) to permit transport on six routes.

The RTA, however, has never met since the transfer of former Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena. The city buses, therefore, are yet to get travel permits, say the sources.

The citizens are especially disappointed that a spate of reasons is holding back the inauguration, as the buses were provided for a city transport system for Kolar.

“The District In-charge Minister, the Deputy Commissioner and the Regional Transport Authority should take a decision immediately on the matter,” urged Nagaraj Shenoy, a resident of the City.

The 10 buses brought into the City for inauguration are still waiting in the depot while citizens continue to travel by auto rickshaws.

It is important to utilise the buses without further delay and provide the citizens better transport facilities, said a senior officer of the KSRTC Employees’ Union.

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