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Neta's absurdities

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Reading what I thought were absurd comments, made by certain neta's following the Mahboobnagar bus mishap, I thought I'll start this blog where I'll list these, as also any that I come upon in future:

1) Banning movement of the passenger commercial vehicles after midnight:

Waking up to the issue of road safety in the wake of the Mahbubnagar bus mishap, the government of Karnataka is mulling requesting the Centre to impose a ban on movement of commercial passenger vehicles on the national highways between midnight and 5 am. This is apart from both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka deciding to launch a drive to make sure that all commercial vehicles are fitted with speed governors.

Karnataka transport minster Ramalinga Reddy - - - said the state government would send a proposal to this effect to the Centre after studying the practicality of the rule.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Is there anything more absurd than this? Apparently, the minister is more than happy retaining the status quo, which is what will result out of making such impractical suggestions, while at the same time portraying an image of himself as being pro-active.

This is more or less of a piece with his and his colleague's reactions (reproduced in italics below - fuller details accessible here) when two labourers were killed and two more were feared dead after an under-construction building collapsed in Someshwara Layout in Jayanagar 1st Block near NIMHANS in mid-August this year:

Home Minister K J George, District-in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Additional Commissioner of Police Kamal Pant, senior officials of the fire department and others  rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operation. George said, “An investigation will be taken up in this regard and strict action will be initiated against the people responsible for the incident. Complete violation of construction norms and the negligence of engineers and supervisors have led to the mishap.” The Siddapur police registered a case against Saleem, the supervisor, two engineers and a contractor, all of whom are still at large. - - To send a strong message to people who violate building bylaws with impunity, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is taking up a drive to demolish under-construction buildings which do not comply with the norms.

Nobody has known of any buildings being demolished since then, and the contract carriage services too will continue to operate as before.

2) Travelling at night is ketta chata (a bad habit):

When reporters told tourism minister, Mr R V Deshpande, at an interaction that there are no direct bus connections to Karwar between 10pm and 5am, he said: "If you have no bus facility to your city during night hours, then don't travel at night. Travelling at night is ketta chata (a bad habit). Even I do not travel after 10pm." "Those who leave places like Hubli after 10pm must be going there to watch movies. So it is an individual problem, and I cannot help," the minister said. He suggested people avoid night travel like him.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

The simple answer to the problem is to dismantle the monopoly of KSRTC, and allow for reputed players to come in - check this. But, the minister in not interested in solutions; he too is happy with just the status quo. So, he comes up with such absurdities.

One wishes there was a "right to recall" provision in place. For want of that, unfortunately, the people will have to suffer these neta's for their full terms.

Muralidhar Rao


Naveen's picture

Absurdity stretched

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Agreed netas make absurd statements at times, but sorry - this post is far more absurd than what the netas said !!

It begs the question as to what a private bus mishap that killed 45 people, a building collapse that killed two laborers & a request for night bus services to Karwar followed by neta statements have anything to do with dismantling of KSRTC monoploy, even if there was such?

Haven't private buses been operating inter-city buses all along?

MaheshK's picture

KSRTC needs to stay

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Its called foot in the mouth syndrome. We can expect PIL in the supreme court. How will the goods be moved? Only during day time? That's nonsense. Newspapers are delivered at night to other cities from Bangalore. Coming to the recent inferno accident, will there be a fair investigation and action? I doubt it.

KSRTC needs to stay put. Private players are there for profit. Safety has no regard for them. We all saw the Jabbar Travels inferno. KSRTC buses leave on the time whether the bus is full or empty or has very few passengers, whereas the private buses wont leave till the seats are filled. They will pick up passengers as they go along, as it happened with the inferno bus recently. In south canara, there are more private buses than government. In the end, those who dont like to travel by KSRTC buses, they can take private buses. No one is stopping them or forcing them to use KSRTC buses. Let it be an individual choice.

murali772's picture

dogma's and mindsets

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@ Naveen

Haven't private buses been operating inter-city buses all along?

Obviously the license-permit raaj doesn't allow for enough private operations to meet the demand, and the SRTC has capacity limitations. Such absurdities are the result of plain dogmatism - check this.

@ Mahesh K

Coming to the recent inferno accident, will there be a fair investigation and action? I doubt it.

It is more in the interest of Volvo, and I expect they will do it.

Private players are there for profit.

Indeed, and they make no bones about it. But, what about BMTC and KSRTC?

Safety has no regard for them.

The safety records of BMTC/ KSRTC are no great shakes either. There is enough on it on PRAJA already, if one chooses to read.

We all saw the Jabbar Travels inferno.

The accident proper was a minor one. But, what happened was the catching of the fire, and the spread of it (and smoke) far faster than the passengers could take action to exit. Volvo is studying what went wrong, and hopefully will effect design corrections accordingly.

As for the rest of your tirade against private operators, please see if what is stated here makes any sense to you.

Muralidhar Rao
MaheshK's picture

Let people have choice

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The inferno bus driver, per media, had reported to the owner about leaking diesel tank. Volvo will build buses per the wishes of the client. I think the travel agency will escape and Volvo will be made a scapegoat.

There is an article in DH dated 7/11/2013.

Post bus inferno, demand soars for KSRTC services

KSRTC is no different in safety issues compared to private operators. If private operators take the responsibility and work with some descipline, I am all for it. At the same time, govt needs to keep a tab. If both dont do their job, things wont work.

If people like private buses, they are welcome to use. No one is stopping them. Let people have choice, govt or private.

murali772's picture

very much so

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Channabasappa, chief manager (Marketing and Commuter Relations), KSRTC, said: "Ultimately, people will realise that the government-run buses are safer and secure. We do not compromise unlike the private operators who load the buses with goods other than the luggage and number of passengers exceeding its capacity”

As compared to the above statement made by the KSRTC official (from the Deccan Herald report cited by you), read here what the BMTC/ KSRTC crew themselves have to say on the matter of safety and maintenance practices.

Yes, opting for a private or a government service operator is very much one's individual choice. As for me, like when flying, my first option is Indigo or GoAir, and Air-India the very last, when taking a bus, it's always a Kallada, VRL, KPN, and SRTC the very last

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