Pvt buses to operate in Dakshina Kannada from June 1

Coronavirus: Private buses to operate in Dakshina Kannada from June 1

Representative image. (Credit: DH Photo)

After almost 70 days, the private buses will start its services in Dakshina Kannada from June 1.

It has been decided to initially operate 50% to 60% of the buses on various routes. Private buses are a major mode of transportation in Mangaluru. Depending on the demand from the people, the number of buses will be increased on various routes. There are over 350 private city buses to various destinations from Mangaluru, said Dakshina Kannada Bus Owners' Association president Dilraj Alva to DH.

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If 10 buses are operated in a route, then initially five buses will be operated on the route, he said. The bus services had remained suspended since March 22, the day PM Narendra Modi had announced Janata Curfew. A few buses are seen parked in the private bus stand and garages since March 21 night.

Keeping in mind the interest of the public, the private buses will start operating. Those who are earning Rs 10,000 per month or below are unable to travel in autorickshaw daily to their workplace. “We have been receiving calls from the general public on the resumption of services,” said the bus owners.

As the buses had remained parked for the last two months, there is the possibility of buses facing minor technical issues related to the battery.

The bus operators have been demanding the government for exemption of taxes for six months. However, the government has exempted taxes for two months, which will not benefit the owners, the bus owners feel. All the bus operators had surrendered their permits to the RTO during the lockdown period.

“We will find it difficult to operate for the next three months as per conditions laid down by the government. The government has allowed only 30 passengers in each bus to maintain social distancing. The buses will be sanitised daily keeping in mind the health of the conductors and drivers,” said Alva.

The private bus operators had demanded a 50% hike in bus fare. The government has promised a hike between
15% to 18%. The notification on the hike in the bus fare is yet to be published by the government. Wearing a mask will be mandatory while travelling in the bus. Each seat will have only one passenger, as per the guidelines issued by the government.

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