Hubballi: People of Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, and Kannada activists have raised strong objections to the proposed plan of the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) to buy old buses from the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).
According to the sources, NWKRTC has chosen 100 good roadworthy condition buses which have run 9 lakh kms. These 100 buses, if everything goes as per plans, will hit the roads of Hubballi, Dharwad, and Belagavi and will be used as city service buses.
The proposed move of NWKRTC has been opposed tooth and nail by the people of Hubballi, Dharwad, and Belagavi.
Belagavi Zilla Kannada Sangatanegala Kriya Samiti President Ashok Chandaragi has raised a strong objection to this move. He questioned the necessity of NWKRTC buying old vehicles from BMTC. “Those vehicles considered scrap by BMTC will be used here after repairs and it is simply not acceptable, “he said and added that he has already written to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Transport Minister B Sri Ramulu, urging them to halt the process. “We will intensify the agitation if the government does not listen to us,” he warned.
Chandaragi said that Kalyana Karnataka is not a dumping yard. If NWKRTC is facing a shortage of buses, let them procure new buses. Let BMTC run those old buses. Why do they want to send those buses to us? Are we are so cheap or our lives are so cheap, this stepmotherly treatment will not be accepted, he said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Rajeev Topannavar also raised objections to this. He said this move is the finest example of regional imbalance, how the people of North Karnataka are treated by this BJP government and how much they care for the people of North Karnataka.
The government’s attitude of doing everything for the people of Bengaluru should be stopped. This attitude is simply not acceptable. “We are not second-class citizens and this kind of treatment to the people of the NK region should be stopped immediately.” “Those buses that almost lost everything will be repaired here using low-cost spares, and if something goes wrong, who will be responsible?” he asked.
He urged the government to provide new E buses like the Delhi government provided to its people; he also demanded the government to provide free bus passes to women, senior citizens, and students.
Santosh Nargund, the state lead of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, said it is wrong. If the buses are old and their service life has ended, they should not be used anywhere. If they can’t use the old buses, then why are they sending them to NWKRTC? Will they accept the same buses from NWKRTC or NEKRTC? He asked. He said public transport should be strengthened, and it is the need of the hour as well. If the NWKRTC is compelled to buy the old buses, then the government should look into the matter and infuse a fresh round of funding to this corporation so that people can use more and more public transport buses. It has two benefits: travelling by public transport will be pocket-friendly and the impact on the environment will be less; he said.
According to the sources, the NWKRTC had approached the BMTC, asking the corporation to provide “excessive buses”. MD NWKRTC, S Bharath said due to the financial crisis induced by the pandemic, the NWKRTC has not been able to expand its fleet size in the last two years and revenue has also been hit. He said that these buses were handpicked; only buses in good condition were chosen, and they would be serviced before being introduced into the service here. And the safety of the passengers would be given top priority and there would be no compromise on that, he said.
The Hubli Express is on WhatsApp now, you can join the WhatsApp group by clicking the link
You can follow us on Facebook @HubliExpress