Mangalore: District BJP wants private buses to stay

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Mangaluru, Nov 10: Dakshina Kannada unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants the Government to introduce city buses of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) here in a phased manner. With this, it has contradicted the statement of V Dhananjaya Kumar, former MP and spokesperson of the State unit of the BJP, that there was no need for KSRTC to start city bus service in Mangalore.

K Monappa Bhandary, president of the district unit of the BJP, here on Sunday, Nov 9 that private buses too could stay in the city. There should be both KSRTC and private city bus services. With this, there would be a healthy competition between the two, he added.

Mr. Bhandary said that the office-bearers of the district unit, who met here on Saturday, discussed this subject. They felt that if private buses were removed immediately, it would create problems for people. The KSRTC would not be able to provide efficient services to people, instantly. However, it could start operating, they said.

"Let the KSRTC introduce its buses in a phased manner. People will decide whether private operators or the KSRTC should stay," Mr. Bhandary said.

Asked if private operators should withdraw same number of buses as being introduced by the KSRTC, he said that there was no such need. The KSRTC buses could be introduced in addition to the private buses. Refuting the view that such a move might add to the traffic congestion as unfounded, he said that the roads were being converted into four-lane concrete ones in the prime areas of the city.

Mr. Bhandary said that if private buses were removed suddenly, the Government should have to look into issues related to the livelihood of drivers, conductors and other workers, who were employed by private operators.

J. Krishna Palemar, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, had told presspersons here on Friday that private and KSRTC city buses could be operated simultaneously. D V Sadananda Gowda, president, State unit of the BJP, had expressed similar view while addressing presspersons at Puttur on Friday, Nov 7.

Dakshina Kannada Bus Owners" Association has opposed the Government"s proposal to introduce government buses on highway routes by banning private buses.

The association has also opposed the government"s plans to introduce Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses in the city.

In a press release, its general secretary Aziz Parthipady said that the ban would deprive many employees such as drivers, conductors, and cleaners off their livelihood. Private buses in Dakshina Kannada started operating 75 years ago. Hence there was a strong bond between the people and private buses in the district. The ban would also affect the livelihood of bus-owners.

The association was providing passes to students at reduced rates. Private operators were plying buses to many villages in the district.

After the beedi industry collapsed in the district, many people lost their jobs and if private buses were also banned, it would affect the life of several families, Mr. Parthipady said.

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