BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) ‘allow-pets-on-board’ policy will be tweaked soon, with the state transport undertaking (STU) deciding not to allow owners to get their pet dogs on board ‘premium’ buses (high-end air conditioned buses).Sources told The New Indian Express that according to a convention of revising fares once in five years, the pets-on-board policy was revived by fixing a fare for pet dogs (equivalent to fare of an adult person) and for cats, rabbits, birds among others (equivalent to the fare charged for a child) in February this year.
“A KSRTC bus conductor in Gowribidanur, in Chickballapur district ended becoming the butt of jokes for collecting half of the adult fare from two roosters being carried by a farmer. The conductor was merely adhering to guidelines under ‘pets-on-board-policy’,’’ sources told Express when contacted.Five months later, KSRTC decided to tweak the policy based on complaints of passengers and feedback from bus personnel. “A main complaint from passengers was about the pet canine’s foul breath which was doubly nauseating due to lack of circulation of fresh air in air-conditioned buses,’’ KSRTC Chief Traffic Manager Rajesh said.
Others also complained on the entire journey about being uncomfortable with a massive dog breathing down their neck. Bus personnel have given feedback on how owners of pet dogs had been stubborn refusing to yield an inch about their dogs. “Buses are primarily for passengers. Soon circulars will be issued to all 15 divisions, operating a fleet of 800 to 900 premium buses under KSRTC, to prevent owners from getting their dogs on board,’’ he said .Sources in KSRTC said even prior to issuing the circular, they were bracing up for possible backlash from animal activists.