Private bus operators, who had been roped in to provide alternative transport services to commuters in view of the KSRTC strike, withdrew their services on Sunday in protest against the KSRTC buses taking away their passengers.
Though the Transport Department had permitted them to ferry passengers freely on various routes, including the Bengaluru, Hassan, Virajpet, Gundlupet, and Nanjangud ones for one month, KSRTC employees were bringing their own buses and transporting the passengers to different destinations, depriving the private operators an opportunity to fill up their buses, they said.
Prithviraj, president of Mysuru District Private Bus Owners’ Association, said the private buses were unable to find more than four or five passengers in their buses, causing them heavy losses. “We are unable to recover our fuel cost,” he complained. Mr. Prithviraj claimed that about 300 private buses had been pressed into service to provide alternative transport in Mysuru during the KSRTC strike.
The private bus operators, who parked their buses on the grounds in front of the Mysuru palace, threatened to stage a dharna if their demand to operate freely for one month, as was agreed upon initially, was not honoured.
Meanwhile, the KSRTC’s Mysuru divisional controller, K.H. Srinivas, said the number of KSRTC employees returning for duty was increasing day by day. “While we were able to resume 50% of our services on Saturday, it was about 70% on Sunday,” he said. The KSRTC’s Mysuru Rural Division usually operates about 5,800 trips from 575 buses every day.