Mangaluru, Dec 31, 2015 : One big gain in the year 2015 was a positive note with regard to public transport and infrastructure as far as Mangaluru and Udupi are concerned. JNNURM - Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission funded city buses of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation are already plying on the city’s roads, those in Udupi are getting set.
The entry of KSRTC in the city bus service sector in undivided Dakshina Kannada had not been an easy task as the segment was completely dominated by private bus operators. The district administration too had been under the influence of the private bus operators despite KSRTC being a State-run organisation.
While the Udupi district administration and the regional transport authority did not waste much time before issuing permits to KSRTC to operate city services, the Dakshina Kannada administration took nearly a year to allow KSRTC to run city services, that too partially.
As against a demand for permits for 35 buses, the RTA granted permits for only after 18 buses, after the District Magistrate relaxed a notification fixing a cap on the number of buses that can enter the heart of the city. Except the service to Kunjathbail, KSRTC is operating services on all 17 routes since December 16. It is hopeful of the RTA and District Magistrate allowing applications for 17 more buses for an equal number of routes.
Hopefully, more KSRTC route and buses will be inducted soon. Several regular travellers in city buses silingly were glad that this is finally happening. All were clear that the KSRTC buses and journey was better, safer and systematic. There was no yelling by conductors, boarding buses and travel was comfortable. Driving was better and other advantages were also seen. passengers seem to be caught in the ’habit’ trap which will soon give way to sense it is felt. Better publicity is needed with better road and stop facilities.
At the same time, there has been some progress in the road infrastructure front where four-laning of National Highway 66 is nearing completion between Talapady-Kundapura except at some crucial junctions in Mangaluru and Udupi. Also, four-laning work is yet to commence on a 3-km stretch within Padubidri town.