In a bid to raise public awareness on the adverse effects of vandalism, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Friday displayed a gutted bus at the Kempegowda Bus station, commonly known as Majestic Bus Station, with a message saying, “don’t burn or pelt stones on buses during riots or bandhs, whatever may be the situation.”
Burnt bus displayed at KBS Majestic bus station to bring public awareness by @KSRTC_Journeys and requests public not to burn or pelt stones on buses during roits and bandh. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/AhqTBkf9al
— Darshan Devaiah B P (@DarshanDevaiahB) September 13, 2019
The burnt KSRTC bus parked in Majestic has a banner introducing the bus, with information about manufacture date, depot the bus belongs to, bus route served and the distance covered by the bus so far. The banner says “I dedicate myself to you, you set me on fire, what is my fault?”
The bus was burnt by miscreants recently in a protest over Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s arrest. Road transport corporation buses are regularly targeted by miscreants during bandhs, causing a huge financial damage to the KSRTC, owned by the government. According to details provided by KSRTC officials, the corporation has lost a staggering Rs 13.16 crore due to protests and bandhs in the year 2018-19.
“The state-owned buses were becoming vulnerable to vandalism as they are easy targets of mobs. In 2018-19 one KSRTC bus has been gutted for which we had to bear a loss of Rs 12 lakhs and from April 2019 to till date the 23 buses been damaged by the miscreants during protests and bandhs,” a senior official from KSRTC told indianexpress.com.
In 2016, KSRTC had conducted a similar awareness programme, called It’s My Bus’ and took out a “mock funeral” of its buses that were burnt during the garment workers’ protest in April 2016. “The bus will be parked at the Majestic bus stand for another one week so that the citizens will be able to see the damage caused by the miscreants,” the official added.
Approximate revenue loss owing to bandhs and strikes for KSRTC during 2016-17 stood at 2.99 crores, while it was 3.97 crores and 13.16 crores in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively.