Bangalore, Apr 4 UNI | 4 months ago

High-profile Congress candidate in Bangalore South Nandan Nilekani, who is fighting a tough battle with BJP general secretary H N Ananth Kumar, boarded a city bus today in support of 'Bus Day' for the Lok Sabha polls to be held on April 17.

Mr Nilekani boarded the bus from the Jayanagar bus stop and got down at Indira Gandhi circle JP Nagar. He paid a bus fare of Rs 12. He participated in 'Bus Day' in order to support the initiative.

On Mr Kumar's allegation that he was carrying Congress baggage, Mr Nilekani replied ,'I have a clear conscience.'

'But the baggage that Mr Kumar is carrying is his own, and its very heavy,' he said at Indira Gandhi Circle.

Claiming that Mr Nilekani had no base in the IT hub, Mr Kumar had said the former Infosys chief was in fact carrying a huge baggage of the Congress.

"I think' Bus Day' is a great effort to draw attention to our public transport systems," Mr Nilekani said. "I think making our bus and metro systems are truly efficient and able to support Bengaluru's growing population

which is very important for our city," he said.

During S M Krishna's rule as chief minister in 2001-04, he had been the chief of Bangalore Agenda Task Force and strived to stream line public facilities, especially the transport service.

"When I asked our city's citizens for ideas to improve the city, many thousands wrote in."

"And many people provided suggestions and ideas to improve our public transport."

"BMTC is doing a wonderful job." "I think with the support of these ideas, we can make our bus and metro systems truly world class," he said.

Mr Nilekani said better connection between the various modes of transport like bus, metro and the autos people take from their home can bring down pressure on the roads.

"How do we ensure that it is convenient for people to move from point to point? How do we minimise waiting time? To do that, we have to ensure that our transport systems are well coordinated," he explained.

He said, talking to a young Vinay, who sat next to him in the bus, was useful.

The youth works for a software company and this was his regular bus route.

"Each person like him who uses our public transport regularly relies on his particular bus being on time, not over-crowded, and convenient.

The investments and improvements we make in our public transport systems must focus on this,' he added.

BMTC, which runs nearly 7000 city buses in Bangalore, observes fourth of every month as 'Bus Day' to encourage vehicle owners to take to city buses for various benefits like to reduce air pollution in the tech hub, save fuel and bring down the congestion on the city roads.

(Posted on 04-04-2014)