Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (SS)
Mangaluru, Jun 2: With the government announcing free travel for women in government buses, private bus operators in the Karavali belt are likely to feel the burden. The fleet of buses operated by the private operators is as much in number or more than the government-run buses. When the guarantee scheme of the government comes into effect, the profitability of the private bus operators is likely to be affected.
Members of the Dakshina Kannada district City Bus Owners Association have decided to call on chief minister Siddaramaiah to impress upon him the need to provide relief in the form of diesel subsidy among other measures.
In Dakshina Kannada district headquarters of Mangaluru, 328 private buses are run by private operators and 68 buses are operated on a contract carriage basis in the rural areas. There are 400 private buses that do not have a number and here the KSRTC is in direct competition with private bus operators.
If travel for women becomes free in government-run buses then the private bus operators feel that women who constitute a major source of revenue for them will get into government buses and thus private buses will have to operate without women affecting their profitability in the process.
Currently, there are more than 1,000 city buses run by private operators. All women are likely to board government buses if free travel for them is introduced in such buses.
Former minister Sunil Kumar in a tweet had drawn the attention of the government to the likely losses that the private bus operators are likely to incur if free travel for women in government buses is introduced.
Jayasheela Adyanthaya, president of Dakshina Kannada district City Bus Owners Association said he would submit a memorandum to the chief minister requesting him to provide relief to private bus operators in the form of making available diesel at subsidised prices.