Mangaluru, Sep 7,2015 : KSRTC - Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation told the Dakshina Kannada district administration that denial of permits ’ selectively’ to operate city buses in Mangaluru, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), might divest the city of a well-organised public transport system.
Such action by the district administration does not augur well, particularly at a time when Mangaluru is tipped to be one of the 98 smart cities to be developed by the Union government, the corporation informed the administration.
While the KSRTC had sought permits for 35 buses on 24 routes from State Bank, as sought by the public recently, DK DC Adoor.B. Ibrahim acting as district magistrate, relaxed the District Magistrate notification, prohibiting entry of new buses to State Bank, for only 18 buses.
Consequently, the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) granted permits only for 18 KSRTC buses. DC Ibrahim heads the RTA in DK. Rajender Kumar Kataria, KSRTC Managing Director, who was in Mangaluru last week, met DC Ibrahim and apprised him of the need to grant permits for all 35 buses.
If not, the corporation and in turn Mangaluru, would lose the benefit of the centrally-funded scheme, Mr. Kataria told the Deputy Commissioner.
He stated that it was unfortunate the district administration has not been supporting a State government corporation in providing hassle-free urban commutation. He also indirectly remarked at the administration for its reported favours towards private bus operators.
KSRTC MD Kataria told media that the KSRTC is the only entity capable of providing a planned and streamlined public transport facility to Mangaluru, whose population has crossed five lakh.
Unlike the unorganised private bus operators, the corporation has the wherewithal to offer hassle-free travel facility to commuters, which it has already established in cities like Mysuru.
Low-floor buses with wide doors, GPS-based real-time information about arrival and departure of buses as well as tracking of buses, etc., are some of the benefits that Mangalureans could get if KSRTC is allowed to provide city bus service.
Planned public transport system becomes all the more essential when Mangaluru is being considered among the 98 smart cities to be developed by the Union government.
KSRTC’s Mangaluru Division has filed fresh applications for permits to operate the 17 remaining buses from the State Bank bus terminal itself. The RTA, while granting permits for 18 buses from State Bank on August 22, had asked the KSRTC to file fresh applications for the remaining 17 buses leaving the State Bank bus terminal. The KSRTC claimed the applications were based on public feedback, and as directed by the RTA. All the 2,300-odd applications from the public had sought services connecting State Bank itself, and no where else.
However, the public has been time and again also pointing out that the ’State Bank bus terminal’ is primitive and far from what is needed. This situation ha been so for the lat 10 years at least. The elected representatives and authorities must forth with look into this. At least minimum facility and safety which is absent must be provided without more delays.