On Friday, commuters at the Kempegowda Bus station in Majestic at the Bengaluru City Centre were presented with an unusual sight. Authorities had placed a burnt bus at the entrance of the terminus.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus was wrapped with banners providing information about its manufacture date, route, journey distance and its last date. One of the banners read “I belong to you and carry passengers every day. You need to protect me. Instead, you stone me, burn me… for what fault of mine.”
Other placards pasted on the bus read, “Respect and value your property. Destruction is your own loss."
Miscreants stone pelting and damaging government buses during bandhs or protest have been increasing over the years. In 2017-18, the revenue loss due to bandhs was Rs 3.97 crore, while in the year 2018-19, this amount jumped to Rs 13.16 crore.
Over the past 3 years, KSRTC has faced a lot of losses, owing to miscreants inflicting damage by burning buses or by pelting stones at them. Since April 2019, a total of 24 buses have been damaged during bandhs or protests and one amongst them was burnt.
The bus that was kept on display was burnt on September 4 by miscreants during the protest against the arrest of Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) which provides intra-city bus services have also suffered a loss of about 43 lakhs in the past 3 years. 5 KSRTC buses and 3 BMTC bus were burned by miscreants since 2016-17.
Speaking to TNM, KSRTC Majestic Divisional Controller, Sreenivasan, said, “It was burnt during a protest. Now one service is reduced, one bus from the fleet has gone, taxpayer money has been wasted.” On talking about what the public should learn from this, he added, “People should be aware from this day, you yourself face the loss if you stone or burn the bus.”