Monday, July 19, 2010

Bus operators `privatise' roads, throw rulebook to the wind

Bus operators `privatise' roads, throw rulebook to the wind

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Overspeeding private buses, operating on main city routes without valid permits, are causing traffic hazards and posing a danger to citizens.

Experts say the only solution is to restrict them to the outskirts of Bengaluru, reports Akanksha Mehrotra

We try to ensure that private buses do not operate in city limits. The public should not use them to travel within the city.
Private operators are violating the law and the public should not entertain them.

Richard V.D'Souza, Joint commissioner for transport (Bengaluru urban and rural) It is very difficult for us to cope with the traffic on Residency Road. Private buses are the biggest threat to the safety of our children as they do not restrict their speed limit even if they see a pedestrian crossing the road. I request the traffic department to intervene in the matter and restrict private buses from entering school zones.

Noothan V.S., Parent of a student of Bishop Cotton Girls School There is no need for private buses to enter the city. There are plans to decentralise KSRTC bus stations and shift them to the outskirts for the Metro Rail project. The same should apply to private buses. Buses from Hosur Road are entering the city as the terminus is still under construction. The movement of private buses can be controlled only by restricting them to the outskirts.

M.N. Srihari, Traffic expert

Pri vate buses, in blatant violation of rules, are plying in the central areas of the city where Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses operate.
Though transport authorities have earmarked specific routes in the interiors of the city where private services can ply, the operators have not bothered to stick to the guidelines.

Most drivers of these buses are also guilty of rash driving and overspeeding posing a threat to pedestrians and school children. Traffic is also affected as they crowd the already congested roads.

The question being raised is when the government has over 5,000 BMTC buses serving the central parts of Bengaluru, why are private buses allowed to enter these places? Transport authorities say they have not permitted private buses to operate within city limits.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, joint commissioner for transport (Bengaluru urban and rural) Richard V.D’Souza said:

"There are several kinds of private buses plying inside the city. A few are used to transport employees of private companies while others are used for inter-state operations. A large number of private buses operate without permits from the transport department. We don't let them off easily. We have booked several cases against the offenders.” Many private buses that have got permission to operate between states are also operating within city limits in contravention of the rules. They manage to make some extra money by transporting passengers within the city, he said. “There have been instances of private buses running on BMTC routes.
This is a violation of permit conditions and we have filed a charge-sheet against the offenders. We are doing our best by penalising the offenders. For a first time offence, the violator has to pay a fine of Rs 2,000-5000.

There have been instances where the permits of repeated offenders have been seized,” Mr D’Souza said.

The transport department issues two kinds of permits: One given by the Regional Transport Authority for regional operations and the other by the state Transport Authority (STA) for interstate operations. The penalty of the offender is decided by the type of permit he holds.


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