: Lakshmi Madiwal has been working as a domestic help for three decades now. She used to commute to the city from her house at Shahpur gate by autorickshaw. This cost her Rs. 700 a month, and couldn’t save money.
However, things have changed now. Lakshmi and her daughter travel to the city in the city buses introduced by the North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC). “We save half the money now. What is more, we can watch TV on the bus,” Ms. Lakshmi says.
For the first time the NEKRTC has launched city bus services in small towns, and this has benefited people.
“Before the reorganisation of States, districts like Bidar had private operators. The routes were not nationalised and the only government buses we saw were those that came from other districts or States. It is nice to see that we have so many NEKRTC buses now,” he says. Along with Bidar, city buses have been introduced in Yadgir, Bellary and Hospet. “We were encouraged by the success of the city bus service in Gulbarga and Bijapur,” says G.N. Shivamurthy, managing director, NEKRTC.
Buses ply from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Schedules have been planned so that the gap between two buses on the same route is not more than 10 minutes. “We are planning to introduce daily and monthly passes,” he said.