Bengaluru: Get ready for another long weekend ahead on account of Diwali festival and Kannada Rajyothsava. All government offices and banks will be closed for four days from Saturday till Tuesday. While the transport department has announced special buses to clear the festival rush, small industries and banks are putting in extra hours to meet the demand.
“There is a lot of extra load this time because of the long four-day holiday. We’ve added a large number of buses to clear the rush,” said KSRTC MD Rajendra Kumar Kataria. The transport corporation will operate 1,500 extra buses in addition to the existing schedules.
Special buses will also be operated on Monday, October 31, and Tuesday. These buses will go from Kempegowda Bus Station to Dharmasthala, Kukkesubramanya, Shivamogga, Hassan, Mangaluru etc. Special buses from Mysore Road Bus Station will operate towards Mysuru, Hunsur, Periyapatna, Virajpet, Kushalnagar and Madikeri.
Special buses will also be operated from Shanthinagar BMTC Bus Stand to Madurai, Kumbakonam, Trichy, Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirupathi, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and other places.
If the need arises, the KSRTC will ply more buses to avoid people from fleeced by private operators, he said. "Already, we are plying more number of buses than last year's thousand. If need be, we will ply more buses. To manage the movement of buses, 24 special teams have been placed at major bus stations,” he said.
“It is great that they are running additional services. Last year, I had to pay extra fare to reach Mysuru. This time I can take a KSRTC bus comfortably,” said Nihal Narayan, who hails from Mysuru and stays in Indiranagar.
“While trade flourishes during festival season, industries suffer. Production goes down and it's hard to stabilize it later. Because of frequent power cuts, there has been a lot of downtime. We have to pay extra wages to workers for every hour lost. October is always stressful, but these four days will prove to be quite a challenge," said M.C. Dinesh, President, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
"Frequent bandhs last month meant frequent breaks in production. But we still managed to meet the targets through five hours of overnight work. The work is compensated but never compromised," he said.
Banks across the city are conducting a lot of transactions, said Mr Nagaraj S.M., senior officer at ICICI. “Four days of holiday means four times the pressure! People are queuing up for transactions from early morning. We are putting in almost 7 hours of additional work."
He said, "Transactions are always higher if banks are closed in the immediate future. Since it's going to be a long holiday, people want to get their transactions done in a rush."...