Karnataka: Transport dept struggles to rope in private operators for smooth services | Bengaluru News - Times of India

Karnataka: Transport dept struggles to rope in private operators for smooth services | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The government’s plan to rope in private operators during the public transport employees’ strike starting Wednesday appears to have failed.
Last week, the transport department asked interested minibus/maxicab/bus owners to contact the Regional Transport Authority to apply for a permit for any route. The plan was to issue a one-month temporary permit, but it evoked lukewarm response.
Transport commissioner N Shivakumar said they have issued around 50 temporary permits across the state so far. “We are now thinking of allowing private operators to run without permits. Some operators raised demands like waiving taxes, but the government has to take a policy decision.”
Officials said many transport employees didn’t report to duty on Tuesday evening.
Around 30% operations, including night schedules, were affected in four state-run bus corporations.
Several cab drivers have extended moral support to the strike, but their services will be available on Wednesday.
Public transport workers said they won’t yield to the government’s threat to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act and are firm on going ahead with the strike.
Karnataka State Road Transport Employees’ League president R Chandrashekhar claimed the department’s move to rope in private operators to thwart their indefinite strike won’t succeed.
“Services of all four state-run bus corporations ,including KSRTC and BMTC, will be completely stopped from Wednesday. This includes intra-city and inter-city services,” he added.
“There are a few private buses in Bengaluru Urban and Rural areas. Some operators are reluctant to operate since protesters could target their vehicles. But many passengers know about the strike so they will be well prepared. The impact of the strike will be less compared to the flash strike in December,” said a transport department official.
BMRCL to increase frequency of trains
BMRCL has decided to increase frequency of Metro services between 7am and 9pm. Trains will run at a frequency of 4.5 minutes on the Purple Line and 5 minutes on the Green Line. However, passengers can travel only with smartcards, which could impact those who aren’t regular commuters.
Private buses can park in bus stands
The transport department has decided to allow parking facilities for private and school vehicles ferrying passengers during the strike. Private vehicles can access bus stations/stands of KSRTC, BMTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC to pick up and drop passengers and even park their vehicles there.
Govt asks SWR for more trains
South Western Railway chief public relations officer Aneesh Hegde said: “The government has requested for 8-9 trains from Bengaluru to places like Belagavi, Bidar, Mysuru, Vijayapura, Shivamogga and Kalaburagi. We are awaiting the railway board’s approval to operate them.”


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