BENGALURU: With Metro’s North-South corridor (Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli) set to be fully operational by next week, the city traffic police are once again planning to restrict inter-state buses to the outskirts.
This time, the move is likely to work as the Metro’s North-South and East-West (Byappanahalli-Mysuru Road) corridors offer fairly comprehensive connectivity for commuters.
As per the proposal, buses bound to northern parts of the state will be shifted to Peenya. Also, buses plying towards Kolar and Andhra Pradesh will be operated from Byappanahalli. This is being done to reduce the number of buses clogging areas like Majestic and Kalasipalyam.
Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) R Hithendra said that if the proposal is implemented, they could restrict nearly 6,000 buses from entering the city. “Allowing bus operators to pick up and drop passengers only from the outskirts will reduce traffic congestion in the core areas of the city. It will not create any inconvenience to the passengers because of the seamless Metro connectivity,” he said.
Asked about the safety of women passengers, he said most of the buses don’t operate during odd hours.
In 2014, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation had inaugurated Basaveshwara bus stand at Peenya, mainly for passengers bound to various destinations in north Karnataka. However, the bus stand, which was constructed on more than six acres at a cost of nearly Rs 40 crore, continues to be unused. The idea was to decongest Majestic and surrounding areas by shifting services to Peenya for destinations like north Karnataka, Tumakuru, Pavagada, Davanagere, Kunigal, Hassan and Mangaluru.
KSRTC general manager (Operations) K S Vishwanath said, “We have incurred loss of several crores of rupees after our services were shifted to Peenya from Majestic. This is mainly because private bus operators continued to operate from Majestic and hence passengers stopped using KSRTC services. We will shift services to the outskirts only if the private bus operators too do so.”
Last year, KSRTC had demolished Byappanahalli Satellite Bus Station, which was constructed at a cost of more than a crore in 2010. The station was the starting point for services to places like Kolar and Andhra Pradesh. KSRTC also returned nearly nine acres of land to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL).
Karnataka Maxi Cab and Motor Cab Owners’ Welfare Association president Bhairava Siddaramaiah said, “It is unfair to blame only private bus operators for traffic jams. If the inter-state buses are stopped on the outskirts, then passengers will come to the bus stations in taxis, which will only increase traffic congestion.”
While many commuters welcomed the move to ban private buses in the city, some are skeptical.
“The idea is good. But is it possible to travel in a crowded Metro or walk through uneven pavements with luggage or children to reach the bus station located on the outskirts on time?” asked Sangeeta Kumar, a regular commuter.