KSRTC night bus breaks down near Charmadi Ghat, passenger tweets for help

Asked if the free bus scheme was resulting in overcrowding, KSRTC officials said that is not the case, and KSRTC maintains strict maintenance protocol.
A photo posted by Raghu on social media shows bus passengers resting on the road. (File Photo)
A photo posted by Raghu on social media shows bus passengers resting on the road. (File Photo)

BENGALURU:   A bus packed to capacity, travelling from Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada to Mundargi in Gadag, broke down near Charmadi Ghat around 9 pm on Sunday. The passengers tried to contact the KSRTC helpline but failed to get any response for over two hours. 

Finally, one of the passengers, Raghu @Raghu08743924 tweeted, “Need Immediate attention, 78 passengers left stranded due to bus breakdown near Charmadi Ghat. The bus started from Dharmasthala and broke down near the ghat section. Now, no other buses on this route, at this time. Please help, what if it rains!’’ He posted a picture of passengers who had disembarked and had stretched out on the sides of the road as the bus was too crowded to stay inside. 

KSRTC responded to Raghu’s tweet with, “Kindly provide bus number or PNR Journey details’’, which Raghu did. TNIE too responded to the tweet and called KSRTC officials in Bengaluru, who in turn spoke to the KSRTC Divisional Controller (DC) in Puttur. KSRTC later responded, saying a breakdown bus had been arranged and would reach the spot in some time. 

Puttur DC Jaikar Shetty said the breakdown bus would pick up the passengers and take them to their destination. The driver himself had travelled to Dharmasthala and taken the alternative bus, and they would continue on their journey. 

At 12.55 am, Raghu tweeted, “Finally help arrived but the issue here is 78 people on board and the bus capacity is 54 seats. I doubt it will reach its destination. Someone needs to look into this and find a solution. We are three hours off schedule.’’ 

When contacted, Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy said he would speak to the authorities and ensure quicker response in case of breakdowns or emergencies, and also ensure that helpline numbers are displayed in buses so that passengers do not turn anxious. 

Asked if the free bus scheme was resulting in overcrowding, KSRTC officials said that is not the case, and KSRTC maintains strict maintenance protocol. Of about 57,000 daily trips, there may be one or two breakdowns.

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