Interstate bus services between Karnataka and Kerala resume after nine months

Road transport corporations of both States deploy 20 buses each between Mangaluru and Kasargod

Passenger bus services between Karnataka and Kerala that had remained suspended for over nine months following COVID-19 have resumed from Monday with State road transport corporations operating services between Kasargod in Kerala and Mangaluru in Karnataka.

Though Unlock 4 and 5 had envisaged resumption of interstate bus services and Karnataka was eager to introduce the same, Kerala government had not allowed interstate bus operations citing the pandemic. This was met with huge uproar by people, particularly in border areas who mainly depended upon neighbouring states for their livelihood.

Consequently, buses used to ‘exchange’ passengers at border posts, including Talapady on Dakshina Kannada and Kasargod borders. Passengers bound for either direction had to get down at the border and board the waiting bus of another State to reach their destination. This severely inconvenienced regular travellers as well as children and the aged. The Kerala government was under severe criticism for this move.

From Monday, both Karnataka SRTC and Kerala SRTC resumed services between Kasargod and Mangaluru by deploying 20 buses each. Both corporations are expected to clock 120 single trips each per day, said KSRTC’s Mangaluru Divisional Controller S.N. Aruna. Before COVID-19 lockdown, both corporations were running 40 buses doing 240 single trips each.

Mr. Aruna told The Hindu the Kerala government had not responded to KSRTC’s as well as Karnataka government’s plea to resume services for long. Communications were made with the Kerala authorities three times, he noted.

The Corporations would decide about operating normal services depending upon the response from passengers, Mr. Aruna added.

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