The bus service on 21 routes in Vasai-Virar region were suspended by the MSRTC leading to outrage among the villagers as heavy police force was deployed to avoid untoward incidents at the bus depots
More than 20,000 commuters from Vasai Virar region are now left in a lurch after the Maharashtra State Regional Transport Corporation shut down bus services on 21 routes in the region. The services were abruptly shut from first day of the new year. The bus services on the tourist spots are much affected which has the Vasai coastline mainly on the 21 routes and with Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation run buses too will not ply on these routes. The MSRTC has stopped the services on Navghar-Vasai, Navghar-Rangaon, Navghar-Bhuigaon, Vasai-Umela, Vasai-Ghas, Bhuigaon- Koliwada, Bhuigaon-Papadi from the Vasai bus depots.
The bus service from Nallasopara bus depot will affect the majority of villagers on routes- Bhuigaon via Ghas, Bhuigaon- Nirmal, Kalamb-Rajodi, Nalla-Ghas, Umrale, Vasai, Satpala-Rajodi, Nalla-Rajodi and Nirmal.
Rajan Naik, Regional General Secretary from BJP along with the delegation met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday and requested him to start the bus services after State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote failed to give any respite to the residents of Vasai-Virar.
“We have urged the Chief Minister to start the services again so that thousands of commuters get relief but till then the bus services will remain shut and the commuters have to face the brunt until the final decision is not taken”, said Naik.
Meanwhile the MSRTC has put the onus on the Vasai Virar Municipal Transport to start the service in the region, Abhijeet Bhosale, PRO for MSRTC said, “We had asked the civic corporation to start the services earlier but they failed to do it and we had also sent the letters informing the civic body about the decision.”
“We have pulled out the service as we cannot face the losses in the city limits as we had handed over the transport services to the corporation and now it’s their duty to provide the transport services”, said Bhosale.
Calling it an impossible task to start the services overnight, Satish Lokhande, Civic Chief, VVMC, said, “Our bus services are being run by the private operator and the company pays us the royalty and we do not have adequate buses and depots to start the service in the region.”
“We had asked the MSRTC to give their depots on rent so that we can start few services but nothing came out of it and we are ready to start the services but it will take time and in order to not cause inconvenience to the commuters they should continue the service and give relief to thousands of villagers”, said Lokhande.
Heavy police force was deployed to avoid untoward incident at the bus depots as the blame game among two government bodies is affecting thousands of commuters as they struggle to reach their workplaces in Mumbai. The students are affected more as they do not have any other means of commuting.