Why are students from government hostels in Karnataka walking 3 km to catch a bus?

Private buses that overcharge students are also overcrowded, and they often do not find enough place to sit
Pic: Edex Live
Pic: Edex Live

College students residing at government hostels in Shivamogga, Karnataka, are demanding government city buses ply on the routes to their colleges in the morning and evening. These demands arise after services that were suspended due to the lockdown have not yet been properly reinstated. Reports have also come to light of private buses charging students unreasonable prices, given the lack of KSRTC buses in their area.

The situation had led the ABVP to protest at the District Collector's office. Vijay Goudar, District Organising Secretary of the ABVP told The New Indian Express about a lack of bus facilities from Navule, Bommankatte, Malligenahalli and Gadikoppa of Shivamogga where there are government hostels. He also added the extra length of about 1.5-2 km of commute via walking required to reach the bus' pick-up points is often leading to students missing the bus in the morning. 

Private buses that overcharge students are also overcrowded, and they often do not find enough place to sit, he added. The dearth in the number and the inconvenience in the timings of these buses are not doing the students any favours, and the routes between Hosanagara and Ripponpete are being run over by private buses.  

A student at BCM Hostel, Navule, Manjunath MK speaks about the lack of buses along the route to Navule. He says that there are more than 100 students in the hostel who hail from rural backgrounds, who are pursuing courses such as paramedical, diploma, nursing, law and engineering. These students are required to walk 3 km from the hostel to the edge of the town to be able to catch any bus. There is a lack of buses along the route to Navule. The private buses have raised the fee from Rs 5 to Rs 10. "There is another SC/ST hostel near our hostel which has more than 70-80 students. These students also go by walk to catch the bus. The road to the point where buses are boarded is not safe. Attempts of theft were made earlier to snatch mobile phones and money from students. It is a fearful environment to walk along the road during evening hours. The police have also visited 10-20 times regarding the issue," he said.

KSRTC has said that buses to these places will be operated soon to facilitate hostel students to reach colleges on time. Buses from Navule will be operated in the coming week where there are government hostels. Buses will be operated according to the school and college timings. They also added that buses to rural areas are operated regularly and there has been no stoppage of any buses after the lockdown. Deputy Commissioner KB Sivakumar said that the bus problem at Bommanakatte was brought to the notice of district administration earlier, which has been resolved already. When the students approached the office regarding the bus problem at various places, buses were immediately operated. "I spoke with the KSRTC DC regarding the bus problem at Navule and other places. He assured us of operating the buses from the coming week," he said.

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