The Bhopal City Link Ltd (BCLL) has stopped bus service on three major routes in the city giving hard time to commuters.
The routes on which the bus service has been stopped are Trunk route 3 (Ayodhya Nagar to Nariyal Kheda), Trunk route 2 (Bus Stand to Mandideep) and Standard route 6 (Trilanga to Oriental College, Anand Nagar).
The company, which has a fleet of 225 low-floor buses for the city, has withdrawn 60 buses from the three routes due to “huge losses” caused by illegal vehicles, such as Magic and minibuses, plying on these routes, said BCLL officials.
“Regional Transport Office (RTO) had given permits to only 500 Magics (4-wheeler) to ply in the city, but the number of Magics has gone up to 1,500, which means other vehicles are operating without permits. Same is the story of minibuses,” said the BCLL public relations officer.
After the closure of bus service on these routes, college students and women are facing a lot of trouble. They are forced to travel in minibuses. “These (low-floor) buses were very decent to travel in and took less time in commuting as compared to minibuses. Since they are not plying, I have to travel in minibuses, in which eve-teasing is rampant,” said Swati Gupta, a college student.
According to a BCLL survey, illegal vehicles are plying in some of the busiest areas of Bhopal like Royal Market, Rangmahal, Bittan Market, Chunna Bhatti, Ashoka Garden and Bag Sevania, which is also the reason of losses suffered by BCLL.
RTO and Traffic Police are playing a blame game on the issue. Additional superintendent of police (traffic) Sameer Yadav said, “Though we are checking vehicles for permit, but it’s the RTO’s job to look after illegal vehicles.”
Deputy transport commissioner MSD Kanodia said, “We have already launched a surprise inspection programme jointly with RTO and Municipal Corporation, in which we have found more than 15 public transport vehicles without permit. In future also, we will continue this drive, but more than this reason, BCLL is suffering losses because of its own incompetence.”
The city bus service used to be considered as one of the most successful models in the country and had won many awards.