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Southern States own 70% of nation’s public transport

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BusPublic Transport

Three southern states - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh - own and operate 70.4 per cent of theto tal fleet of public transport that exists in the country. Maharashtra too, to some extent, shares the credit. These statistics werere vealed in a report submitted to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) by the Transport Research Wing (TRW) on the ‘Performance of State Road TransportUnder takings (STU) for April 2010 – March 2011,’ comparing 34 Public Transport Corporations on various aspects.

The total count of public transport buses operated inIn dia stands at 1,22,355 as in March, 2011. Of them,Maharashtra accounts for 23,261buses while Karnataka runs 21,302, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 21,802 and Tamil Nadu with 19,856 buses. In the north, Delhi has a fleet of 5,771 buses.

“In the northern states, there is lack of financial prudence among state-run transportcor porations. Other existing modes of transport such astem pos, taxis and autorickshaws make up for lack of buses,” said Gaurav Gupta, MD, Karnataka State Road TransportCorpora tion.

Among the 34 STUs, only five corporations make profits and Karnataka’s KSRTC and BMTC top the list with Rs 62.05 crore and Rs 50.35 crorere spectively. Other profit-making STUs are Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, Punjab State Department of Transport, and the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation.

But the National Capital’s Delhi Transport Corporation has a huge loss of Rs 2,286.54 crore, followed by BEST and APSRTC with losses up to Rs 381.38 crore and Rs 268.81 crore,re spectively.

Gupta claimed that India, when compared to other countries, does not give much importance to State-run transportation. “Excise duty for public buses is at 10 per cent here. This should be made nil.

Also, no corporation gets any form of subsidies. In foreign countries, public transport companies get subsidies and operational losses are borne by the government,” he said.

Source

Comments

idontspam's picture

I think...

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...Its less about numbers & more about a culture. 

ramesh_mbabu's picture

Key is "public transport companies get subsidies"

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Not just public sector white elephants, any body operating in the regulated market receives this incentives/subsides or what ever it is called.

Ramesh.

srinidhi's picture

Railways Missing!!

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..majorly in karnataka, Kerala and some parts of TN!

So no wonder we need to rely on roads and busses more!

murali772's picture

Two related Deccan Herald reports

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Asked if monopolising public transport was indeed a good idea, Sindhia replied, “We have not touched private operators in Dakshina Kannada because they have and still are doing a good job. In mid ‘80s, our government had 65 per cent share of public transport. Private operators continued to provide very bad service and so we took over.”

Muralidhar Rao, founder of online civic website Praja, who filed a PIL against monopolising public transport in  1990, begs to differ. “The only reason why Karnataka’s RTCs make profits is because they are a monopoly” said Rao.

Though the situation in the south is much better than in north India, where it is a case of  ‘license permit Raj’, Rao says here too the rules are biased against private operators. They are regularly harassed by the state, he charged.

KSRTC’s claim that its fleet penetrate 92 per cent of villages is disputed by Rao. The figure does not say how many trips a day, he adds.


For the full report, click here

It could be safely said no other City in Karnataka, including capital Bangalore, has a better private bus network as in Mangalore. Around 3,000 private buses not only connect every nook and corner of the two districts but also the rest of the state, in spite of the rain-ravaged roads.

Karnataka State Bus Owners’ Federation President Rajverma Ballal claims with pride that no other city can match the service offered by private buses right from the times of undivided Dakshina Kannada district. Be it the condition of buses, maintenance, cleanliness, frequency or punctuality, the private buses here are far superior to any region. Crew behaviour too had improved. “Our drivers have a rapport with passengers, which is lacking in KSRTC buses,” he says.


For that report, click here

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Govt buses must run at a loss!

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From one of the DH reports above :

Muralidhar Rao, founder of online civic website Praja, who filed a PIL against monopolising public transport in  1990, begs to differ. “The only reason why Karnataka’s RTCs make profits is because they are a monopoly. A good government-run service is not supposed to make profit,” said Rao.

"Govt services must always run at a loss to be good" (!) - Is this statement made since our state bus corpns are showing profits or does it imply that private services will make profits at the expense of dependable services & will therefore not be good ?

If there is any logic in your statement above, please explain to fellow prajas.

I know bus services in Mangalore very well - what Mr Ballal states isn't true. Most bus owners are small unlike Ballal motors & almost all city buses are in poor condition. Passengers may be told to change buses midway due to insufficient crowd (it happened to us on our recent visit - we were forced to buy tickets again since the second bus we were asked to board belonged to another company).

There are no bus timings anywhere & in remote areas, services are few, unreliable /unpredictable. Frequencies are good on high density roads, but they drive recklessly to race other buses. Though this may seem 'efficient' to passengers since they drive fast, they are actually operated unsafely.

Another problem is their union. If traffic cops charge a bus driver with reckless driving, all the bus owners bunch together & support the bus driver no matter what. Thus, they are a law unto themselves.

 

Chennai buses over-crowded

Where will Chennai figure if its public transport bus system is compared with other large metropolitan cities? The sad truth is: somewhere at the bottom of the pile. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation's (MTC) operational fleet of 3,000 buses is one of the lowest among any major metropolis in the country. The comparison with Delhi's fleet of 8,000 or Bangalore's 6,100 buses is even more telling because both the cities transport fewer passengers every day than Chennai.

Most major city bus services in the country account for a ridership of 40 to 50 lakh passengers a day. The MTC carries 56 lakh passengers a day with less than half the number of buses as other cities. Overcrowding during rush hour is rampant.

Report from Hindu

murali772's picture

mis-quote

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That was an incorrect quote, and that's why I omitted it. The reporter asked me something to the effect as to whether it was not commendable that BMTC and KSRTC were recording increasing profits year after year. To that, I said that making profits in a monopoly situation was nothing great, besides making profits alone cannot be the goal of government organisations, particularly so when they are monopolies. These are typical hazards one faces in media quotes.

As to the quality of services of Mangalore bus operators (compared to KSRTC/ BMTC), even though operating on a sloping playing field, there have been enough discussions before (here, for instance), and I don't want to go into it again.

And, as for the Chennai bus (dis)services, it again brings out the incapacity of government monopolies to meet the ever growing demand.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Mis-Quote, Really ?

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That was an incorrect quote...making profits alone cannot be the goal of government organisations

In many ways, it was not incorrect since public transport cannot & should never be operated as a business with ticket sales revenues alone. If tried, it will be like blue line.

Mangalore bus operators....

Being from Mangalore, I know how the bus services there are. Repeatedly quoting what a private bus operator from there says to support your flawed theory on supposed improvement of services with bus privatization doesn't fool anyone.

sloping playing field...

Bus services have to be cost efficient for people & if this is so, profits, if any will always be very low after huge investments. Bus operators cannot be allowed by govt /regulators to charge what they please since it cannot be run like other businesses. Private bus owners do not have to operate if they cannot accept this reality & the so-called 'sloping field'. Whilst you seem to accept this when govt provides the services, you contradict it repeatedly with claims that private operators will earn handsome profits & still provide good services.

And, as for the Chennai bus (dis)services, it again brings out the incapacity of government monopolies to meet the ever growing demand.

Ever growing demands cannot be met by road services alone with increasing traffic (whether by a monopoly or otherwise). This is why most major cities (In India & also around the world) are building metro systems /BRTS. One must analyze this better before claiming that monopoly is the cause & continuing to repeatedly blame & criticize BMTC /KSRTC & other existing services.

The link that you pointed to - my question about why the 'Bhubaneswar model' run by a private "monopoly" was being claimed by you as a model has still not been answered.

idontspam's picture

Profitability model

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If you drill down the profitability issue, there is a catch 22 in terms of what comes first traffic or routes. It has been seen in many cases that providing routes can create traffic demand because of visible availability of connectivity. This is akin to providing roads to a new layout without houses, you cant wait for people to move in before provisioning roads. In fact people wont move in because there are no roads.

Since traffic will take time to establish it is necessary to move away from per bus profitability model that BMTC follows. I would rather take the first step of moving the profitability to depot level & then move it to corporation level soon afterwards.

There are 2 other problems in scaling up for BMTC, one is the procurement of BS4 buses on time, owning these assets & maintenance costs are a huge drag. So a franchise model on the lines of SBS transit of Singapore will be a good way to scale. Ask the operator to bring in the assets as well. The franchise model can be tried on the non trunk (non big10, circle, point to point) routes. Like cross connects between 2 or 3 modes (Metro, Bus, Commuter rail stops) on specific routes.

murali772's picture

limited intent

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@ Naveen  -  With reference to the mis-quote - I was talking about what I had stated, not what you think should be.

Besides, many of what you are saying should then apply to many other services too - power, water, education, health, etc etc. Subsidised operations can be accepted for limited periods. But, if subsidies are to be perennial, alternatives have to be found, irrespective of the sector. Also, you yourself have stated that public sector is inherently inefficient. So, the deficiencies are happening on account of that. And, unless there's effective competition, that won't change.

Like you may be from Mangalore, I am from Kochi, which has more or less similar kind of services operated by private sector. And, I'll attach greater credibility to Ronald Anil Fernandes's (Mangalore Deccan Herald) report, as also Mr Dhanuraj (Director, Centre for Public Policy and Research)'s view (check this).

Cities like Chennai and Bangalore have certainly grown to levels where METRO has become a must. But, a Mysore can very well do with good private operators competing with the KSRTC, but on a less sloping playing field.

Bhubhaneswar model is not quite the ideal. It is at best a step in the right direction. Kochi and Mangalore are better, and if facilitated properly, they could perhaps become the models for the rest of the country.

Whatever, haven't we gone through all of these over and over again? It's when I read a report on the subject that I am provoked to respond. My intent is not at all to convert the inconvertible.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Subsidies will remain

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if subsidies are to be perennial, alternatives have to be found, irrespective of the sector

True for most sectors, but not for basic services such as urban transport, healthcare & education. There will always be poorer sections that are dependent on support for upliftment. This is why there are subsidised national health & education schemes even in the most developed countries such as USA, UK, etc that are designed to provide such support where needed, in addition to social security. This will continue everywhere in the world to try to reduce the gap between the haves & the have-nots, irrespective of region or demographics & India is no exception.

Most city transporters around the world (be they private or public) receive subsidies in some form or the other since competition within the same market (rather than for the market) will only result in sub-standard services & unsafe conditions, particularly in India where misuse, encroachment & application of laws is widespread & rampant.
For eg. SBS transit, Singapore (quoted by IDS above) has exclusive rights to operate several bus routes & also operates some metro lines to facilitate planning for better revenue generation. Such privatization efforts (that are monopolistic within their areas of operation) might work well. This was what I had attempted to explain in an earlier post.

In India, where you have the largest masses of poor & no social security cover, how can poverty ever be erradicated without subsidised schemes that pay part of the real costs for upliftment of the needy ? The problem that needs addressing is that distribution of such subsidies has been highly uneven with heavy leakages due to corruption & misuse by the political parties to garner votes. This has become so complex now that nearly every caste or creed is demanding reservations to derive benefits, whilst politicians are forced to please them, else they would run the risk of losing. This is worsened with coalition govts with opposition parties waiting to bring govts down should they even try to take any bold decision - an example is the recent attempt to hike fuel prices.

Real costs cannot be paid by the poor. The major problem that we hav (ie. upliftment of the hundreds of millions who are poor) will remain ignored whilst private parties will try every trick to increase their business revenues, form unions & hold cities hostage. The assumption that privatization & competition will bring prices down & solve every problem in the country is therefore flawed.

I'll attach greater credibility to Ronald Anil Fernandes's (Mangalore Deccan Herald) report, as also Mr Dhanuraj (Director, Centre for Public Policy and Research)'s view (check this).

A few voices making claims that support your view does not mean that the majority have the same opinion. BTW, when has Mangalore Deccan Herald reporter claimed that services there are great ?

Cities like Chennai and Bangalore have certainly grown to levels where METRO has become a must.

You concede this now instead of sabre-rattling about inefficient govt monopoly as the cause everytime - that's some improvement, I guess.

Kochi and Mangalore are better, and if facilitated properly, they could perhaps become the models for the rest of the country.

Never - for reasons already explained. If the city/s were divided into sectors & each sector given only to one operator, then we might be able to test what can be a model for the rest of the country. We do not need to re-test what has already been proven unsafe & killed hundreds in our own country.

ashok_n's picture

Public vs Private

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The eternal debate :-) !!

@Naveen,

My few limited observations in Bangalore. In Bannerghatta Road where I live, there are a few garment factories. There are a few private transport buses run along this road catering to the women who work in these factories. What I have seen is, these workers prefer these private buses to BMTC since they are cheaper by a 2-3 rupees. Even our servant maid comes by these private buses than BMTC. 

This is not only because they are cheaper but also are more reliable than BMTC. Right at 6 pm when the factories close their shifts, these buses are standing outside their gates. A few months back, on a day of anticipated trouble ( due to Babri Masjid dispute court case decision ), I saw that the factories had closed earlier and the private buses ready waiting outside. Would BMTC ever do this?

On the other hand, I see a lot of BMTC-Volvos going inside Agara Depot at 7 pm ending their shifts.

The point I am trying to make is that profit motive is good. With good regulation, private operators can bring  more efficiency. We have seen this airlines, and telecom to name just two.

 

murali772's picture

serving a purpose

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are designed to provide such support where needed, in addition to social security. This will continue everywhere in the world to try to reduce the gap between the haves & the have-nots, irrespective of region or demographics & India is no exception.

From an earlier post (check here)- "There's absolutely no gainsaying the fact that supplies of essential goods and services to large sections of the public need to be subsidised. But, the question is of how best to achieve it. Many eminent economists, including Lord Meghnad Desai, Kaushik Basu, Swaminathan Aiyar, and a host of others, have suggested the 'coupons' route, amongst others, which seem to make far more sense than the present direct delivery systems of the government."

Again, to quote, Sri T N Ninan (check this) - "Could it be that these distortions and scams (all of which are well known and accepted as part of the Indian reality) are the result of well-intended do-goodism becoming counter-productive, of bleeding-heart socialism gone wrong? At worst, the gullible might say, the accusation could be that the ruling alliance is buying the votes of the poor at government cost (a.k.a. populism). But the massive leakages of kerosene, electricity, cooking gas and foodgrain create gigantic vested interests". The same applies here also.

Such privatization efforts (that are monopolistic within their areas of operation) might work well. This was what I had attempted to explain in an earlier post.

In fact, that is more or less what the Bhubhaneswar model, as also our model-M1. But, you have problems with those also (check this and this), and then for want of substance to back your argument, go into lengthy discourses on other issues, playing the role of the guardian angel of the poor, but essentially finding apologies for the at best mediocre public sector monopoly operations.

form unions & hold cities hostage.

SRTC unions are more prone to such tactics - perhaps a proper study could be revealing. Besides, the government monopolies can always be hijacked by politicos, like here

The assumption that privatization & competition will bring prices down & solve every problem in the country is therefore flawed.

But, that has happened largely in every other sector, and there's no good enough reason why bus services should be an exception

A few voices making claims that support your view does not mean that the majority have the same opinion. BTW, when has Mangalore Deccan Herald reporter claimed that services there are great ?

Click on the 2nd link in my post of 18th for R A Fernandez's report. And, yes, there are plenty of apologists, apart from pseudo-Socialists, and 'seeking to be politically correct fence-sitters' in this world. But, this debate is perhaps serving the purpose of getting many of the third variety off the fence. You could take credit for that.

Metro for cities like Chennai and Bangalore, - - sabre-rattling, - - that's some improvement, etc etc

I have stated enough times before that once cities grow beyond a level, METRO could perhaps be the answer.

We do not need to re-test what has already been proven unsafe & killed hundreds in our own country.

Denial of the existence of the license-permit raaj, the cause of it all, is but affording another apology for retaining the status-quo and perpetuating the vast vested interests.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Enough now

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Bhubhaneswar model..model-M1...you have problems with those...

Your 'model-M1' is nothing but the kochi-managlore variety where buses operate in direct competition on the streets for customers & wrestle with one another. 'Bhubhaneswar model' is privatization with a single operator licensed to operate in the whole city. Both are not sensible, long-term solutions. A single profit-oriented company in a city will not get the best for commuters + their unions will soon begin to dictate terms (similar to the autos now). If there are several bus companies in the city operating independently in different areas with govt support (& with no on-street competition between buses), unions will remain in check due to division & an operator is replacable, should he become too demanding. This has been tested & is working well overseas in some cities (especially ones with BRTS).

lengthy discourses...

Seemed necessary since you claimed that if subsidies were perennial, alternatives had to be found, irrespective of the sector.

finding apologies for the at best mediocre public sector monopoly operations

I think it's clear who the apologist here is for the sub-standard kochi-mangalore variety & their union leaders.

there's no good enough reason why bus services should be an exception

As stated, urban transport is a basic service that needs support /subsidy to maintain service quality & still be affordable for poorer sections /students. Driving prices down with competition will result in poor quality like the kochi-mangalore variety where most buses have no window glasses & wooden benches without seat cushions due to low profitability since they have to abide by regulated low ticket prices.
Also, check mangalore news reports regularly about how they speed. Almost everyday, there are accidents. Here is one report - go through comments by various readers at the bottom to know what the majority thinks, contrary to what you keep claiming.

apologists, pseudo-Socialists, politically correct fence-sitters...third variety off the fence..You could take credit for that.

I don't understand all this mumbo-jumbo !

once cities grow beyond a level, METRO could perhaps be the answer.

Please quote where you stated this before, other than the one time above. All that you have kept repeating is that inefficient transport was due to govt monopolies. You had even opposed BRT, claiming that it takes away too much road width & had stated that Metro costs too much & takes too long.

Denial of the existence of the license-permit raaj..affording another apology for retaining the status-quo

I don't think anybody has denied that public monopolies will eventually become a drag. If one pursues solutions, they must be proper, fool-proof solutions & not some senseless privatization that has been proven to result in unsafe road conditions & sub-standard services.

It's clear now who the inconvertible is since in his opinion, privatization takes precedence over all else, including pedestrain & road safety that are to be considered secondary & unimportant.

murali772's picture

City can't afford the wait

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If one pursues solutions, they must be proper, fool-proof solutions

The many openings up that happened with liberalisation also faltered initially as the stake-holders involved went through the learning curve. Over the years, most have stabilised. That is of course apart from the distortions that happened because of deliberate sabotage, as also the hijackings by the politicos (read Raja). So, waiting for fool-proof solutions is like expecting a child to learn swimming without getting into the water. And, to put through a decent working model in bus services involving private players (since public sector monopolies are admittedly a drag) is no rocket science. People have to demand it, and it will happen.

But, if one wants to go on finding reasons why it will not (should not?) happen, and is prepared to live with the present 'at best mediocre' service, it's ok as far as he/ she is concerned. But, the city can't afford it.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Reinventing most important!

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learning curve...

So, in your recipe for bus privatization, more lives have to necessarily be sacrificed in the city/s since we refuse to learn any lessons from Delhi, Mangalore or Kochi.

Good luck to your privatization efforts & to your prescription that refuses to learn from past experiences & also doesn't care for pedestrian lives & road safety. After all, they would be consequential since it's far far more important that we start back all over again from scratch.

the city can't afford it

That is your private opinion & not many share the same - your (flop) polls proved that.

Naveen's picture

More Examples

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30-Dec-2011 Mangalore Bus Accident

05-Jan-2012 Mangalore Bus Accident

....And one lone voice here keeps claiming efficiency & cost reduction with competition on the roads, with total disregard for peoples' lives.

Sampling of some reader comments:

"Such accidents are only because of Owners... They dont have two drivers for the night trip... Even if the drivers request for the second driver the owners doesnt listen to them. I know many bus drivers of mangalore bangalore. and everyone says this. Because of job security they keep quiet. Action should be taken against the owners if such incidents took place and whenever there's only one driver. Not only sugama the biggest bus corporation Durgmaba also do the same thing and even they are bus met into accident near kunigal few months back and luckily no serious injury happened to the people..."

"Private buses in Coastal karnataka and kerala are nothing but Yama doothas"

"These accidents have now become almost daily occurances. The speeding bus drives have no respect for life. They are not concerned or bothered about the safety of passangers and the public. Some time ago there was a move to fit all transport vehicles with speed governers. The idea did not gain any momentum because of the bus owners lobby. It is time that the speed governors are made mandatory"

"Ghastly collision once again due to the reckless driving of pvt. bus drivers. Mangalore-Udipi route is really a death trap and could easily vie for the Limca Book of Records for having the highest no. of accidents."

"Drivers of buses in Mangalore either should be jailed or hammered when they cause an accident. Considering the traffic police are going to be farting around, it is the latter action that needs to be taken by the public. Also its the responsibility of the people sitting in the buses to warn rash drivers. The commuters think that sitting in a big bus causes no harm to them and are least bothered about someone elses life. They are either talking to drivers or enjoying loud music."

"N.H.66 (MANGALORE UDUPI) is making its place in the GUINESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for HIGHEST number of ACCIDENTS AND HIGHEST NUMBER OF LIVES LOST IN THE ROAD ACCIDENTS"

"Uff ! Thats Nasty !! Must be the Bus Drivers Mistake, since they ply at high Speeds !!!"

"OMG!!! That's scary.. Killer private bus on the move, Badly damaged Scorpio and may the injured get well soon"

 

 

 

murali772's picture

And now to the role of the guardian angel of people's lives

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Are the records of BMTC and KSRTC, with regard to accidents, any better? I doubt it. It would be interesting to compare the statistics if there are any. Hardly a day passes without some report or the other involving them showing equally macabre scenes. However, I shall refrain from dramatising the story by providing links to them.

Yes, safety is certainly a concern (But with BMTC/ KSRTC everything is a concern, not just safety). And again, these result largely from the very same licence-permit raaj, whose existence itself you refuse to acknowledge. Also, amongst the quotes is this one, laced of course with sarcasm "Kudos to our most corrupt Police and RTO", which is also points to where the problem largely lies.

And, yes, re-invention is what is required from the present government monopoly regime.

Lone voice - what about Ashok N on this blog itself? And, what about the many others that you'll see if you bother to scroll down the other related blogs? In fact, there's only one lone voice championing the BMTC/ KSRTC monopoly. Others are at best tolerating it.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Assumptions don't count

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records of BMTC and KSRTC, with regard to accidents..

seem to be better since many are requesting the same instead of private buses - please check comments again & don't make assumptions that suit your position without facts & figures & without basing your claims on local opinions. People I know in Mangalore all complain about the buses there due to very rash driving & accidents & there is ample corroboration from blog comments.

licence-permit raaj

As always, you continue to argue with assumptions that suit you to continue arguments. For the record, I have never denied it's existence & know that it is one of the causes, but not the only cause.

Since you claim that it is the root cause, please first campaign against it to end it since nothing will change without dismantling it in the first place. In fact, it might get worse. Bus owner unions are hand in glove with politicians as stated on some comments & people have been caught in between, but you go on claiming that privatization will solve everything & continue to paint private buses faultless, being the apologist as always for them.

re-invention is what is required from the present government monopoly regime

Sure, but not in the way that you have been going about it by demanding opening up first without any regulatory & safety mechanisms & without taking into consideration the experiences already at hand. Since it isn't any rocket science, please come up with fool-proof solutions, not senseless ones that are already proven to be sub-standard, but assumed by you to be great when there are contradictory local opinions.

Others are at best tolerating it.

If you think your last poll did not give an accurate picture, try another poll. Mere words won't convince anyone.

If you have something sensible, you may respond, else please do not since I will not be drawn any further into meaningless arguments.

murali772's picture

We are agreed then

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OK - so, we are agreed then. Let us convert the demand to one for dismantling of the licence-permit raaj in the public bus transport services sector to facilitate the entry of good private sector players (as also conversion of the existing players into becoming good players) to provide effective competition to the existing government monopoly players, all under the oversight of a duly empowered BMLTA (perhaps with CiSTUP's technical help). If I tweak my petition along those lines, will you then be the first one to sign up?

But then, on going through the wordings of my petition, I find that that's exactly what I have demanded - check this - Because of the prevailing 'license-permit raaj', so far, it's been only the Blue-line (of Delhi) kind of operators that have generally been in the picture, in turn earning the private sector a bad name. For that to change, the raaj has to be dismantled and the entry of reputed players like TVS facilitated, all under the oversight of a duly constituted and empowered regulatory body.

In every other way too, I find it fairly comprehensive. So, may be you could do the tweaking, and once we are agreed on the revised draft, we can start the petitioning exercise.

The point I have been trying to make all along is that, as long as BMTC and KSRTC enjoy their monopoly positions, their improvements will be marginal, if at all, whether you have a Dr Ashwin Mahesh advising them or whoever. They just refuse to engage constructively with the public, as PRAJA has repeatedly found out, while, in order to satisfy the JnNURM norms, they make a show of public consultations by constituting a captive forum of select people - check this.

At the same time, what we require today is a quantum leap in services, both in quality and quantity, in order to arrest the usage of private vehicles (even if only for regular commuting) and free our roads, which are otherwise becoming totally grid-locked all across the city. If we can bring in good players, the scenario can change, and pretty fast too, as compared to what the METRO can achieve. And, even after the METRO comes, the bus will still have a critical role, and the required flexibility to play different roles cannot happen with government monopoly players, like we have seen in the case of the METRO feeder services.

I don't think there can be any difference of opinion on these matters. So, let's get a move on.

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

Mangalore bus lobby too hot for Transport Minister!

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Case of Private Monoploy Vs Public Monopoly?

State home and transport minister R Ashoka had a tough time when he tried to deal with the private bus lobby of Mangalore, which is known for its arm-twisting and wheeling-dealing techniques.

“Your city’s private bus lobby is too strong and hot for me to handle. Except for higher education minister VS Acharya, none of the other elected representatives were supportive in introducing the KSRTC and mofussil services in Mangalore and Udupi,” Ashoka said.

Source - DNA India

murali772's picture

such ministers are the problem

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“Here, KSRTC is treated like an outsider and the buses have been banned from entering the city due to flimsy reasons. The court has also imposed a stay order banning KSRTC buses from entering the city. This has not happened anywhere else in the state,” Ashoka pointed out.

After having talks with deputy commissioner NS Chennappa Gowda and the KSRTC officials about commencing KSRTC services in the city, he has appealed to the officials to take a final a decision at the Regional Transport Authority meeting, which will be held on February 11.


There are some obvious contradictions in the report. I can't see how any court can impose a ban on KSRTC operations. Very much as KSRTC should be allowed to compete with the private operators in Mangalore, the private operators too should be allowed to compete with KSRTC elsewhere, all on a playing field that is not too steeped in favour of the government players, and under the oversight of an effectively empowered regulatory authority.

If the minister is openly admitting to being 'bullied' by the bus transoporters' lobby, it is obviously because he carries a taint of pandering to various other opposing lobbies and mafia (or, perhaps, he is himself the chieftain), and has thereby made himself ineffective. You first need to be clean yourself to enforce the law. Such obvious capitulation before the various lobbies and mafia is tantamount to total dereliction of duty, and such people shouldn't have a place in the ministry in the first place.

Muralidhar Rao
abidpqa's picture

The bus operators and their

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The bus operators and their business practices are the problem which is almost illegal. At last one incidence which is an example of their behavior has come to light. Because the minister is new they have not been able hide the truth in this instance, which they have been doing by private consultations and closed door meetings. Their claim of innocence and helplessnes is exposed. The minister's politics is of no issue here. The state should assert its right to run KSRTC buses.

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