Mangaluru, May 17,2017: KSRTC in an effort to break the nexus of private buses has introduced mini buses on several routes of south Karnataka including Shivamogga-Udupi via Agumbe Ghat, Kundapur-Byndoor-Shiroor and city services in Chikkamagaluru. The state owned operator has received 160 mini buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) for operations from district headquarters, K S Vishwanath, general manager (operations) said.
A total change from the days when reaching Thirthahalli and Shivamogga from Mangaluru and Udupi was a private ride with mini buses operated by private operators or going by own vehicle was the only option. Now the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has made a foray in to this route hitherto dominated by private bus operators.
Old timers recall the total domination of private bus operators on the Shivamogga-Udupi route. "Since only private mini-buses travelled on this route via Agumbe Ghat and seats were limited, we used to go to the depot of Hanuman Transport at Chithpady in Udupi and board the bus," recalls a lady now settled in Mysuru. Many others from Thirthahalli and beyond as students depended on colleges in Udupi and Mangaluru.
Cutting back to the present, students from Malnad areas now can also depend on the six buses that KSRTC has introduced with plans to add four more mini buses. "These buses have the more ergonomic two plus two seat configuration offering passengers a comfortable journey. Student community will also benefit from the services that KSRTC offers for they can avail concessional travel facility with support of the state government," noted Vishwanath.
The divisional controller, KSRTC Mangaluru division, says the Regional Transport Authority, Udupi, has granted the corporation 55 permits including 10 on the Udupi-Shivamogga route. "We will improve the seat cushions of the buses deployed on Udupi-Shivamogga route to make the long journey comfortable," he said. It takes a minimum of 4-1/2 hours for a bus to traverse the distance from Mangaluru to Shivamogga and an hour less from Udupi.