Daijiworld media Network - Udupi
Udupi, Dec 2: The much used transport service of Udupi citizens, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) buses, are likely to vanish from Udupi roads soon. As per primary sources, the 30 KSRTC JnNURM buses will be permanently moved from Udupi to Hassan depot.
JnNURM buses were introduced in Udupi in 2016. Even though the private bus lobby did not give a free hand for the introduction of the buses in the district, the then minister Pramod Madhwaraj put all his efforts and introduced as many as 30 JnNURM buses to the district. But as the administration and in-charge ministers changed, major changes are expected soon.
Three buses have already been shifted to Hassan depot. Seven more buses will be moved to Hassan depot soon.
Due to the Covid induced lockdown, all the JnNURM buses were at a standstill for many days. Even though the private operators started their service to the extent of 75%, JnNURM buses did not start their operations. This impacted the occupancy of the buses turning them into a loss making business.
At present, only 2-3 buses are being operated only during the peak hours of the day. The newly built JnNURM bus stand has also been a parking area for other KSRTC buses and a den for the drunkards. It has been poorly maintained and has become another destination for illegal activities to take place. Many mobile phone shops, canteens and hotels were allotted space in the commercial premises which are now facing severe loss due to shortage of bus service.
"We had invested a lot of money expecting a good return from this place. But as the buses have discontinued their services, we are facing severe loss. It has been very difficult for us to sustain. Few of the small vendors have already closed down their shops," said a shop owner at the premises.
Former minister Pramod Madhwaraj requested to continue the service of JnNURM buses in Udupi. In a tweet he said, "With great difficulty I had brought Nurm busses to Udupi dist. I hope better sense will prevail and Nurm bus services are improved further to help students and public.”
All these developments have been positively affecting the private bus operators. They have regained their monopoly on a few routes. The JnNURM buses were very much helpful for the students and senior citizens as they were low-floor buses. This has helped many individuals to travel with ease. The shifting of buses to Hassan depot will have a negative impact on the routes operated by Udupi depot which will now have less number of buses thus providing an opportunity for the private operators to regain monopoly. This has also been suspected as the first step to completely stop the JnNURM bus service in the city.