BENGALURU: Passengers travelling by private buses, that were barred from entering the city on Monday, were a hapless lot as due to lack of information many were stranded on the outskirts.
Due to restriction of private contract carriage buses in the city from 7 am to 10 pm from February 1 to 5 in view of Invest Karnataka, passengers were left in the lurch to fend for means to reach the central business district.
Safina Asmin, who reached Nice Road Junction on Kanakapura Road, said, “I have been asking the traffic cops about buses that would ferry me to Shivajinagar as the bus I was travelling by dropped me here. The driver said they are not allowed in the city.”
Safina’s husband Ghaus Ahmed was running pillar to post with his kids and luggage to enquire about buses. He said, “My youngest kid is vomiting since the journey ended and there is no one to assist me on bus services.”
The KSRTC had committed to operate extra buses to meet the demand and facilitate transport to the public, but many people were not aware about these services.
To top this, not enough facility has been put in place by the government to manage the daily lot of passengers using the services being parted by more than 2,000 private buses in the state for travel.
However, M A Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said, “On the first day, the implementation was up to the mark. We will rectify the mistakes from what happened today and will try to reduce the inconvenience caused to the passengers.”
It was not only the passengers, who de-boarded on the outskirts of the city, who were at the receiving end, but also many who reached Kalasipalya and Race Course Road to catch buses, were in for a shock as there were no private buses operating from these places. Krishnarajappa Mudodi, a passenger at Kalasipalya, said, “The decision of barring private buses to enter the city limits was taken in a haste and the state government is not at all bothered about the problems being faced by the passengers. KSRTC buses are operating, but there are not enough government buses to cater to our needs.”
Sadananda Chathra, general secretary, Karnataka State Tourist Bus Owners’ Association, also said that there are not enough buses to cater to all the passengers and due to the ban many tourists going to Goa, Mangaluru and other destinations have cancelled their trips, incurring huge loss to the private bus operators.
The government should bring in a proper plan before implementing such ban as at the end of the day it is the common man who is at the receiving end, he added.
Meanwhile, Saleem said, “The ban on private carriages entering the city will remain for the stipulated time. This decision was made to reduce traffic congestion in the city during Invest Karnataka Meet which would help us get more investors.”
Hearing of PIL Rescheduled
Bengaluru: The High Court on Monday referred a Public interest litigation, challenging the ban of private buses and other vehicles into city from Monday to Thursday, to a single bench. The petition was filed by one P K Naveen, a tour operator in the city. The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath said: “The petition is private in nature and is benefiting to a private party; so, it should be placed before the single bench.” Accordingly, the petitioner’s advocate placed the matter before Justice A S Bopanna, but the judge said the case will be heard on Tuesday.
End Pvt Bus Ban, Demands BJP
BJP has termed the ban on entry of private buses into the city as irrational. Party leader Jagadish Shettar said, “Passengers are made to alight from private buses outside the city limits and forced to wait for BMTC buses. Many of them with children, senior citizens and heavy luggage are forced to shell huge amounts for autos or cabs to reach home,” he said. Terming the move as a ‘Tughlaq Durbar’, Shettar asked what difference it would make if the passengers were allowed to continue their journey into the city in private buses instead of BMTC buses. ENS