Karnataka: Private operators take over bus stations of state units | Bengaluru News - Times of India

Karnataka: Private operators take over bus stations of state units | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The carriageways at the Kempegowda and Majestic bus stands were dotted with private buses, taxis and tempos instead of the blue-white and red-grey buses of BMTC and KSRTC. For probably the first time, authorities allowed so many private players to operate from these bus stations.
“I have never seen these many private buses at our station in my 20 years of service,” said a senior KSRTC official.
The development triggered a debate on whether private buses should be allowed to operate on nationalised routes, including Bengaluru. Many private operators have been pressuring the government to remove what they describe as the monopoly of state transport corporations on some routes.
While the previous UPA-led government preferred purchasing buses under the JNNURM scheme, the NDA government favours a lease model through a public-private partnership. BMTC has floated a tender to lease 1,500 buses.
“For nearly 45 years, we didn’t allow private buses inside Majestic. It pains me to see this today,” said HV Anantha Subbarao, general secretary, KSRTC Staff and Workers’ Federation.
Vinay Sreenivasa of the Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike, an NGO, said: “It’s a disturbing sight to see private buses at Majestic. KSRTC and BMTC are ours and we should take ownership. Transport staff are frontline workers and it’s unfair on the part of the government to force them to strike to get their benefits.”
The transport department has allowed private operators to pick up and drop off passengers at bus stations/stands of KSRTC, BMTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC.
They can even park their vehicles. On Wednesday, there were complaints of overcharging and overcrowding. Many operators didn’t go to interior areas or offer subsidised passes to students and senior citizens.
Meanwhile, BMTC has warned action against 1,484 trainee staff who participated in the strike.


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