Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has reduced its premium, non-AC sleeper, Rajahamsa, and express bus services operating from Mangaluru to Bengaluru and Kasaragod following poor patronage.
The cut-down in services is as per the direction of KSRTC Central office that wants bus services to be operated on priority. SN Arun, Divisional Controller Mangaluru KSRTC, said the corporation has reduced 40 trips to Bengaluru and around 35 to 40 trips to Kasaragod. Also, the service to Mysuru and Dharmasthala is cut down.
According to Arun, the Mangaluru division operates 350 buses on a daily basis. Post the reports of spreading of Coronavirus infection and directives from the government asking people to restrict travel, the booking for premium, non-AC sleeper, Rajahamsa, and express buses have been reduced by nearly 50 percent.
Two KSRTC Flybus operating from Manipal and Kundapur to Kempengowda International Airport, Bengaluru is among the buses that have seen a shortfall in the bookings. AC sleeper buses to Pune and Ernakulam have also seen a drop. However, the bookings for AC sleeper bus to Hyderabad are constant so far, Arun added.
As per an official from KSRTC Puttur, there was less number of passengers from Puttur to Dharmasthala on Sunday, March 15. “We will study the situation for a couple of days before taking a decision on reducing the number of services,” he added. KSRTC operates 60 bus services from Puttur to Dharmasthala out of nearly 550 bus services in total.
All the buses from Mangaluru and Puttur division are being sanitised. The buses are being sprayed with disinfectant before they move out of depots. The drivers and conductors have been given masks and also a handbill that mentions about washing hands and other precautions.