Mangaluru: Private city bus operators demand level playing field

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- Agencies

Mangaluru, 08 Dec 2023: The Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators Association, the umbrella organisation of operators of private city buses in Mangaluru, on Wednesday, demanded a level-playing field with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) concerning tax payment and reimbursement of concessions.


At a media interaction organised by the Dakshina Kannada District Working Journalists’ Association and Mangaluru Press Club here, association president Azeez Parthippady said the private bus industry might collapse in a few years if the present situation continued. Unhealthy competition by the KSRTC was denting a severe blow to private buses, he said.



Mr. Parthippady said the owner of a 50-seat bus has to pay Rs. 50,000 quarterly tax in advance whereas KSRTC’s tax payment was based on the revenue collection. Added to this, quarterly tax payable by private operators had increased annually, he lamented. Private operators too offer concessional fares to students like the KSRTC, but were never reimbursed. They have offered Rs. 19 crore concession so far to seven lakh students in Mangaluru alone during the last 45 years, he said.


Besides unhealthy competition by the KSRTC where private operators have enough services, the recently introduced Shakti scheme, which offers free travel for women, has affected them much. It was more pronounced in the Mangaluru-Surathkal and Mangaluru-Mudipu sectors, said the association’s former president Dilraj Alva. The association has also urged the Regional Transport Authority to rationalise operation timings, he added.


Mr. Parthippady demanded the extension of the Yashaswini healthcare scheme available to KSRTC personnel to their counterparts in the private sector too.


Asked why some bus conductors do not accept the Chalo card (prepaid travel smart card), he said action would be taken against such conductors. Passengers should not pay cash if the Chalo card is not accepted, they may call the helpline numbers 7996999977 or 9902109999, he said.


To another complaint, he said conductors would be told to accept Rs. 10 coin from passengers.



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