BENGALURU: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has proposed to introduce an alternative route between Bengaluru and Udhagamandalam (Ooty) that is expected to reduce travel time by one and a half hours. The agreement between KSRTC and Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation is likely to be signed in February.
As per the present agreement, 14 buses are being operated between Bengaluru and Udhagamandalam, seven from each corporation. The existing route from Bengaluru is via the Mysuru-Bengaluru highway. It passes through Mysuru via Nanjangudu, Gundlupet, Bandipur and Gudalur. It’s a 310 km journey and takes eight and half hours. Out of seven buses, only two are allowed to do night journeys as the Forest Department has restricted the number of vehicles during the night journey through Bandipur. The proposed route is Bengaluru- Krishnagiri-Thoppur -Anthiyur-Sathyamangala- Metupalya-Udhagamandalam. This is around 360 km, 50 km more than the existing route.
However, since there will be no ghat section, travelling time will be reduced. The travel time will be seven hours as against 8 hours 30 minutes. This will also save fuel. Prabhakar Reddy, Divisional Controller, Bengaluru Central Division, told TNIE the narrow lane between Udhagamandalam and Gudalur is a ghat section. This will take more time in travelling. With the proposed route, this ghat section will be avoided and travel time will be saved.
“Also this stretch will avoid Mysuru-Bengaluru highyway which sees bumper-to-bumper traffic, especially on weekends, which takes more time. By avoiding buses on the Mysuru-Bengaluru road, it will lessen the burden on that stretch,’’ Reddy said. Another advantage is that more buses can ply. “The existing route has Bandipur forest and there is restriction on the number of buses as it involves Forest Department permission. The proposed route does not have forests and any number of buses, even during the night, can be operated. Out of 360 km in the proposed stretch, 150 km is on National Highway and it is tolled at Krishnagiri and Attibele. With tolled road, speed can be more,’’ he said. However he said this will happen only if both the states agree.