HYDERABAD: The transport department has ordered private buses to stay outside city limits and beyond Outer Ring Road (ORR). This is definitely a major relief for city traffic, especially in the night, but private bus owners are grappling to find parking spots beyond the ORR. Some even question the legality of the decision and are considering going to court.
For passengers, this would mean boarding buses a lot sooner than they do now. “If this order comes into place then we will have to shift our final boarding points beyond ORR. Then, we will have to pick up passengers a lot more early,” says Mahesh S who works as a manager with Kaveri Travels.
A customer present at one of the booking agents office in Ameerpet wondered if this move will impact him. “We are anyway made to wait for the bus at the pick up point and boarding point. The journey will still be through the city traffic, I don’t think it will make any changes to passengers unless bus operators decide to hike ticket rates further,” said a private employee Sandeep S.
At present, private buses are allowed within city limits only between night 10 pm and morning 8 am. Due to the time limit, operators employ mini-buses to ferry passengers from different pickup points across the city to their respective boarding points. The boarding points used by the private buses are: Ameerpet, Lakdikapul, LB Nagar, Secunderabad Mehdipattanam and Miyapur. All these locations are known traffic bottlenecks in the city. Now, with final boarding points moving beyond ORR, passengers will have to be ferried the extra mile.
City commuters, however, are happy with the announcement. “It is extremely dangerous to ride a bike between Miyapur and Khairatabad or Lakdi ka pul in the night as these buses speed away putting lives of motorists at risk. It is a good move,” says private employee Shiva Shanker.
“Some 10 years ago they asked us to move to city outskirts, and we did. Now the city has expanded till ORR, what if in another 10 years those areas become the centre of the city, are we to move again?,” asks the owner of a major private bus operator.