After the Swargate division of the MSRTC recently found that some Mumbai-bound buses of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) enter the city and use the depot despite a restriction on their doing so, the traffic branch and MSRTC officials have started taking action against the errant drivers.
So far, more than 10 bus drivers of KSRTC buses have been fined for entering the city, which adds to the traffic congestion on the internal roads. “A large number of Karnataka state transport buses come to Swargate depot, but most of them do not have the requisite permit as only a fixed number of buses from the neighbouring state are allowed to use the depot,” Swargate depot manager Vijay Diwate said.
Loss of business
The depot manager said the Karnataka buses that were not meant to enter the city did so to gain passengers who would otherwise have taken an MSRTC bus. “In a recent finding by our officials and me, we have come across several instances of drivers of seasonal permit buses of the KSRTC coming inside the city, using the depot and taking away our passengers.” Diwate said subsequent to the finding, the traffic division was requested to take proper action against such KSRTC drivers.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishawas Pandhare said: “Ideally, the buses plying between Bangalore and Mumbai or vice-versa must not enter the city as these buses can use the Katraj bypass. But the operators of these buses, in order to earn extra fare, come to Swargate depot via Pune-Satara Road and take away passengers. “As these buses use the Pune-Satara road, it adds to the traffic congestion on the busy and crowded road. The buses also take up precious space at the bus depot.”
Traffic cops at stand
Pandhare said the traffic branch had received a request from the MSRTC to take action against these errant drivers. “Now we have deployed our team at the bus stand,” he said. “The team members along with the MSRTC officials are now taking action against these bus drivers.”
Diwate said: “We have increased our checking. If we come across KSRTC buses which are not permitted at the bus depot, the drivers will have to face stringent action.” The city has three bus stands near Pune station, Shivajinagar and Swargate with approximately 3,000 buses plying daily.
The traffic branch has already proposed decentralisation of the three bus stands by creating eight new bus stands at Katraj, Hadapsar, Kothrud, Sangvi, Baner, Nashik Road, Nigdi and Nagar Road.