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Nobody ready to make double-deckers for city

BMTC, KSRTC plans yet to get off ground

Rayan Mitra

BMTC bus

The BMTC has failed to keep its promise to run five double-decker tourist buses on Bengaluru’s roads by December 2017. The reason: It has not found a manufacturer.
The proposal to introduce the buses for Bengaluru Darshan, day trips for tourists, was approved in June last year, but seven months down the line, the BMTC doesn’t know where to source them.
BMTC PRO Shyamala S. Maddodi informed The Observer: “We plan to implement it as soon as possible, but no manufacturing company has come forward to take the contract for double-decker buses.”
“They will not suit Bengaluru’s roads. The numbers of buses to be manufactured is meagre. But it is in process with no deadline set,” Maddodi added.
Double-deckers, which plied in Bengaluru till 20 years ago, could prove to less efficient than regular BMTC buses because they require more space and time to turn. The city’s roads have become more congested than before because of an explosion in the vehicle population. How these tallboys will negotiate numerous skywalks, flyovers and magic boxes is an imponderable.
The KSRTC also plans to introduce these buses for inter-city routes. KSRTC  managing director SR Umashankar was quoted by a newspaper in December 2017 as  saying: “...we have launched a survey to finalize inter-city routes on which we can operate double-decker buses.”
Not much seems to have happened on that front.
“This is a very initial stage to talk about the inception of the service. A lot more discussions are to take place, involving several organizations, to have clarity on the plan,” said a senior KSRTC official who did not want to be named.
But Srinivas, chief mechanical officer at KSRTC, said: “We are planning to introduce double-decker buses. It’s a new inter-city concept. This is the information I am authorized to reveal.”
In their prime, double-deckers used to ferry people to and from important locations such as Majestic, Shivajinagar, City Market, Jayanagar and Gandhi Bazaar.
Madhu Gowda, a law student said: “If the buses are well designed and safe to commute by, I look forward to them.”
Double-deckers were popular till the late 1980s. In the Nineties, the Bangalore Transport Service, the precursor to BMTC, reduced double-decker services. The buses were withdrawn in 1997 after a bus carrying schoolchildren tilted in south Bengaluru.
rayan.m@iijnm.org