Bengaluru: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to operate extra buses between Kerala and Bengaluru. The transport unit took the decision after almost 400 interstate private buses in Kerala and announced that they were launching an indefinite strike on Monday. The extra buses provided by KSRTC is expected to make it convenient for passengers travelling between states.

According to reports, the strike affects around 8,000 passengers, who travel in buses, managed by Kerala operators every day. KSRTC usually caters to almost 2,000 people in 50 services between the states. It will operate four extra buses, using available permits to Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kannur and Palakkad from Bengaluru to ensure that passengers do not suffer.

A KSRTC official reportedly said that they will add more services to the required route if there is additional demand.

The interstate bus operators started the indefinite strike protesting the Motor Vehicles Department’s Operation Night Riders.

Operation Night Riders was an initiative undertaken following the attack on three passengers by Kallada Travels staff. On April 21, two passengers travelling from Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru were thrashed by the staffers of the company. The staffers allegedly even threw them out of the bus.

The Interstate Bus Owners Association of Kerala has demanded to put an end to the “unnecessary fines imposed on bus operators” by the Motor Vehicles Department.

As part of the protest, around 9 intrastate buses and 293 interstate buses were to stop services from Monday, sources said.

The association stated that the department had asked them to remit tax in advance for the service on one side and had imposed fines to the bus operators stating the services were illegal on the other. The association also requested the department not to accuse all private bus operators because one bus operator was caught for wrongdoing.

According to reports KSRTC will deploy its services until the issue is resolved.