After the Karnataka government decided to allow one-time movement of people stranded in different districts to their native places, a large number of migrant workers gathered at the Majestic bus terminal in Bengaluru Saturday. But much to their dismay, the migrant workers were forced to shell out three times the normal bus fare.
Social distancing norms went for a toss when more than at least 500 people gathered at the bus station, with very few people to control the swelling crowd. The stranded migrant workers are going to different parts of Karnataka from Bengaluru, which is a red zone district.
#lockdownindia: A large number of people gather at Majestic bus station in #Bengaluru after #Karnataka government allowed one-time movement of stranded people to return to their native places. No physical distancing norms followed. @IndianExpress#COVID pic.twitter.com/hOJNiyYipd
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“We walked from Sarjapur to Majestic bus stand to catch the bus, but when we arrived here the ticket price was around Rs. 2,000 per person, from last one month we don’t have any work from where we have to pay bus fare?” questioned Kishore, a migrant worker from Bidar.
The passengers also complained of lax social distancing norms at the bus stand. “Social distancing is not being followed by anyone here. There are small kids here, no food and water available,” said Prabhu, a passenger.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) made an arrangement to operate around 100 buses on Saturday depending upon migrant labourers coming to the bus station. To maintain social distancing, the KSRTC is operating with 30 passengers only, though their total seating capacity is 55.
KSRTC has fixed Rs. 39 per kilometre charge for the buses while the cost of hiring an A/C car in Karnataka is just Rs. 15 per kilometre. According to the fare chart by KSRTC, the ticket price from Bengaluru to Bagalkot is Rs. 1,311, Ballari Rs. 884, Bidar Rs. 1,984, Belagavi Rs. 1,478, Kalaburagi Rs. 1,619, Gadag Rs. 1,070. All these districts are in North Karnataka.
For districts in South Karnataka, KSRTC is charging Rs. 538 for Hassan, Rs. 985 Dakshina Kannada , Chikkamagaluru Rs. 695, Mysuru Rs. 390 and Kodagu Rs. 737.
Meanwhile, KSRTC issued a statement saying it will charge only single-fare tariff for migrants. “Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister after discussion today morning, have permitted for single fare tariff for migrants travelling by KSRTC in the state after following social distance. The labour department will be asked to support the other side fare,” KSRTC said in a media statement.
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