BENGALURU: A number of organisations have come together to launch a postcard campaign, urging the government not to increase BMTC bus fares and to improve the bus system instead. At an event held at Shivajinagar bus station on Wednesday, volunteers of various organisations spoke to passengers and took their signatures on a postcard addressed to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also the Minister for Bengaluru Development.
The postcard read, “I heard the government is planning to build Elevated Corridors while spending Rs 33,000 crore.
But BMTC said they are raising fares since the government is not supporting them financially. Can we please discuss how money is prioritised for transport projects? Please call for a public consultation to decide the same.”
Signatures were collected from over 500 people at the bus station after volunteers tried to apprise commuters of the disparity in transport planning in the city and benefits of improving the bus system. Many willingly came forward to sign the postcard. The volunteers also held placards carrying the hashtags #JanaraMaatuKeli (listen to the people) and #StopFareHike.
The campaign organisers intend to send the postcards to the CM and DyCM when the number reaches 1 lakh. Vinay Sreenivasa of Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike said, “The government is investing an obscene amount of money to build Elevated Corridors in Bengaluru. If a portion of that amount is utilised towards making the bus system better, the entire public transport system across the state can be made world-class.” He added that several important bus stops had no shelter for passengers.
Srinivas Alavilli of Citizens for Bengaluru said the government must give importance to improving the public transport system, and encouraging people to use it. “Unfortunately, its focus is just on road widening, building flyovers and elevated corridors.”
The campaign has been organised by the Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike, Garment and Textile Workers Union, Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkuta, Slum Janara Sanghatane, BBMP Guttige Pourakarmikara Sangha, Domestic Workers’ Rights Union and Citizens for Bengaluru.