All dressed up and nowhere to go. This quite sums up the situation that the state’s Konkan Royale buses are in.
More than three months after the state’s tourism corporation unveiled five luxurious Volvo buses totally worth Rs5.5 crore to promote tourism in the Konkan region, the vehicles are lying parked and are not likely to be used anytime soon. That’s because private tour operators who are supposed to operate the buses are not interested.
The buses are too long for the Konkan’s narrow roads dotted with steeps and curves, said sources in the state secretariat. “A slight error in judgement on the driver’s part could lead to an accident,” a source said.
About three months ago, the state tourism body organised a special tour for private tour operators none of whom has taken up the offer. “While some questioned the feasibility of a long bus being used on narrow roads, other operators were afraid that the bus could swerve off the road, especially while negotiating hairpin bends,” said another source from Mantralaya.
A tour operator, who was a part of the orientation tour said that those on board had to walk distances, at certain spots especially lanes leading to their accommodation, as the bus could not enter narrow lanes.
Subhas Naik, another tour operator, said, “The mindless move is nothing but a sheer waste of money.”
Officials of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation were not willing to comment on the issue.