The Colombo Avissawella bus service on route number 122 has become a nightmare, to the people using public bus transport beyond Homagama, due to the shortage of buses and the breakdown of the few buses that ply on this route, residents of the area told The Island.
Most private and SLTB buses start from various mid points to Colombo on this route like Homagama, Kottawa and Maharagama, but no buses start from any mid point between Homagama and Avissawella to Colombo they said.
Due to the shortage of buses most people living between Homagama and Avissawella who travel to work have to take two buses to Colombo wasting their time and spending more.
Senior Government sources said a new reorganization of the government owned bus service the SLTB has been started but among the SLTB depots selected for development. The Avissawella depot which covers three districts, Ratnapura, Kegalle and Colombo has not been selected.
Deputy Transport Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said there are 103 SLTB bus depots only 25 were selected for improvement in the first instance. All depots were given at least five new buses and others more than that. The entire fleet strength needed by the SLTB was 7,700 buses, but the present strength is only 4,300. The other depots not selected for improvement now will also be improved stage by stage within the next three years.
The senior government source said, on condition of anonymity, that some new buses, given to certain SLTB depots, were pulled out of these depots and given to other bigger depots thus reducing their already small fleet strength and causing hardship to commuters.