Kerala - Karnataka border | Photo: Sreejith P Raj| Mathrubhumi
Kozhikode: Luxury private bus operators are facing hard times after travellers availing services for inter-state journey has fallen significantly owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, the mandatory RTPCR test for journeys from Kerala to Karnataka has distanced travellers from opting for luxury bus services.
The bus operators stated that the daily services operated from Kozhikode to Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka has fallen significantly. Malabar Tourist Bus Operators Association members added that the services were reduced from 50 a day to 15-20 services due to this crisis.
With the shift in work culture to Work From Home and the introduction of online classes, there is a visible decrease in the number of passengers. Buses are forced to run services with just 70 per cent of passengers.
RTPCR tests are conducted in Muthanga and Makoottam. Vehicles from Kerala are not allowed to cross the Kuttavazhi at Kodagu. In this scenario, many travel agencies have suspended service. A large section of the passengers from Malabar have switched to trains as a mode of journey as the documents are not verified thoroughly, they said.
Meanwhile, buses from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are passing through without inspection. This is said to be due to the high prevalence of covid-19 in Kerala when compared to other states, bus operator representatives added.
With the third wave of Covid-19, Karnataka has further made the rules more stringent, making it hard for services to be conducted from Kerala.