Mangaluru: Coronavirus effect - Private bus transport sector bleeding

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)

Mangaluru, Sep 28: The private bus transport sector has been vital when it comes to providing transportation services for the two districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. The industry has received a jolt in the form of coronavirus-induced lockdown. Even though the normal life of the people is limping slowly back to normalcy, the bus owners have a very long way to go. They do not seem to be poised for a quick recovery. The government has not extended to them any tax concession. Diesel prices have gone up by Rs 12 a litre during the five months when the buses were stranded. Because of lockdown, commencing from the last week of March, buses were barred from undertaking trips. After the lockdown rules were relaxed recently, the bus owners had decided to resume bus services in phases starting from June 1. Even though the situation is better now, because of rising diesel prices, the effect is nullified, the bus owners rue.

Only 70 express buses are now moving between Udupi - Kundapur and Mangaluru routes. The buses are usually full only during early in the morning and in the evening. For the other trips, there is a dearth of passengers. The collection is not enough to manage the trips. It has become difficult to manage day-to-day expenses out of the daily collections, they say.

The bus owners had surrendered their permits during the lockdown period. Many have not yet got them back. They are aware that getting them back and running of buses will not be viable. The express and service buses are having only about 30 per cent passengers. 70 per cent of buses are not being run. Out of 325 city buses in the city, 275 have been introduced and 50 are yet to be introduced. In Udupi, out of 85 city buses, 35 have not been operational.

Mangaluru City Bus Owners association president, Dilraj Alva, feels that some more buses may be introduced during the first week of October. He said that because the buses were less on some routes, the people were not coming. With the increase in trips, the people also feel that travelling by buses is a better alternative as compared to auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers.

The bus owners know that running the buses is not profitable but keeping the buses at one place makes the parts to rust. The bus owners are bearing losses and running the buses with the hope that the future will be bright.

The bus owners had met the transport minister and urged for extending tax concession. They also have demanded compensation to bus staff like the auto drivers. but the government itself is in a soup and the minister said that the option of giving KSRTC buses on lease is under consideration. The government is aware of the problems but it is helpless. The government has now been asked to extend equated monthly instalment concession to December through a request made to MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel. The bus owners feel that like in West Bengal, the Karnataka government should exempt them from payment of road tax for a year.

The bus owners said that they had started operating the buses to Talaplady but the KSRTC buses, by running Kasargod buses till Talapady, are causing them losses. Canara Bus Owners Union vice president Sadananda Chatra said that even though 30 per cent buses are run, they have no passengers. He says that more passengers might come if the coronavirus positive numbers go down, and railway, school, colleges, offices etc begin to function.

City Bus Owners Association Udupi president Kuilady Suresh Nayak says that all buses are running under losses and many are thinking of stoppling the buses. He has asked the government to extend three-month tax concession to help the ailing industry.



Comment on this article

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    service bus associations should mind their business & not renaming places & circles.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manisha S., Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 29 2020

    Good one Sir.
    Let the people boycott these buses and find an alternative.
    May be time for long awaited one tier publicly funded govt transportation.
    These private buses due to their negligence cause many accidents and harm to the society and to the young girls.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Sep 30 2020

    Madam manisha , i can definitely say that you have never use to travel regularly in pvt public transport busses by your words, you cant always say it is negligence of the bus owner for the accident and injuries that unforeseen happen from the mistake of drivers, yes i agree private busses in our coastal belt are run with timings that are allotted for each bus and that driver should reach all the bus stand on time to avoid conflicts between the other busses, for your information this short timings are allotted by the government while issuing the permit and not fixed by the owners , so fast services can cause accidents and bus owners and drivers cant be always blamed for this, and coming to fare they do provide huge concession to students basically 50% and daily passengers 30% -35% which you can never expect from the government transport system specially in upcoming acche din. lets all pray for the soon recovery of the nation and help our surrounding however possible. no hard feelings....thank you jai hind

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Tue, Sep 29 2020

    . God is good and who do good things towards other benifits from it otherwise all karma.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Chandu, Karla

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    Why complain about diesel prices.....these are all part of ache din promised by our PM.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dylan, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    The bus owners intrested in renaming the Ladyhill circle. Let them at least improve service and culture of bus staff, good opportunity to improve. They should honestly issue tickets and passengers should demand. Thank God a reduction of bus accidents. The private bus owners have made extraordinary profits before the Covid 19. Best would be abolish the private bus mafia.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse


    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    Service the routes which have no or very few buses. You will prosper

    DisAgree [3] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe, Bangalore

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    I think this is the right time to phase out these private buses (or yamadhoots) and introduce Govt buses between Kundapur/Udupi/Mangalore. This will ensure that people travel safely at a reasonable price and also reduce unruly competition on the highways.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jeevan, mangalore

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    Diesel prices have gone up by Rs 12 a litre during the five months when the buses were stranded.Put banner on Stranded bus vote for modi and keep roadside.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [44] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakt, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    Not all of them, but some don't deserve any sympathy.

    Despite of these hardship days, they came with newly printed boards with 'Guru Narayana Circle' to support name change of the circle.

    If you need public support, stay neutral - don't sway according to political parties. No political party came to help you in your need since the Lockdown came into force.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [72] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 28 2020

    D. M, you are absolutely right. One thing to be noticed that the bus operators may get help from the government for supporting the circle name change. ( dirty politics).

    All sectors faced losses during the lock down, and still running under losses. But why buss owners, truck owners & public is not coming on roads to protest the fuel price hike?? Instead they want tax rebate?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Mangaluru: Coronavirus effect - Private bus transport sector bleeding


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