Mangaluru, Feb 26, 2015: Since the Shiradi Ghat was closed down for vehicular traffic from January 2 this year, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has been incurring an additional expenditure of more than Rs. 1 lakh every day as buses between the coastal region and Bengaluru have to operate on alternative routes.
The KSRT Corporation has been pressing the government to allow about 20 of its Rajahamsa (2+2 seater luxury buses) one-way services between the coastal region and Bengaluru via Charmadi ghat to minimise the additional expenditure on fuel as well as reduce the journey time. However, the administration was yet to respond to its requests, sources in the KSRTC told media .
Diverting the services originating from Kundapura and Udupi via Shivamogga, the corporation still operates more than 70 one-way services between the coast and Bengaluru every day. While about 10 ordinary express services are operated via Charmadi Ghat and Mudigere, the remaining 60-odd premium services are operated via Sampaje and Madikeri. The distance between Mangaluru and Bengaluru is 348 km via Shiradi, 361 km via Charmadi and 412 km via Sampaje.
Satus Quo in fares : The KSRTC did not increase the fares though the travelling distance had increased by 13 km via Charmadi and by about 60 km via Sampaje. It is incurring about Rs. 50 lakh additional expenditure towards the extended distance, the sources said. Rajahamsa services could move via Charmadi as the coaches were not as long as other premium buses — sleeper and Airawat, it was argued.
KSRTC as well as passengers are facing the torture of the extended journey time, because of the diversion via Sampaje. The road between Madikeri-Ilavala-Bengaluru is infested with numerous humps, affecting the vehicle as well as passenger comfort. Between Srirangapatna and Bengaluru itself, the Mysore-Bengaluru State Highway has more than 80 humps, forcing the driver to apply brakes for every five minutes, the sources said. Dakshina Kannada D C Adoor B. Ibrahim said the Charmadi route was quite narrow and might not be able to accommodate KSRTC’s Rajahamsa services. Still, he would examine the corporation’s request in the interest of travelling public he promised, which is appreciated under the circumstances.