The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has restored and put on public display a 70-year-old Bedford bus at its office premises in Bangalore.
The bus, which was imported from the United Kingdom before India won its independence in 1947, was run by the then Mysore Government Road Transport Department (MGRTD). While the bus body is built by Brond Ford Coach Body Limited of Canada, the tractor is a Bedford and power comes from a Perkins P6 engine.
It is understood that after the reorganising of Indian states in 1956, MGRTD started running the bus to transport commuters on the Banashankari to Savadatti route in North Karnataka. Hence, the nickname ‘Banashankari’. The bus continued its public transport duty for nearly 25 years, after which MGRTD used it to ferry KSRTC staff. After a run for nearly half a century, MYF 4101 was retired and remained in the KSTRC shed.
For several years, the majestic, red-coloured bus stood in the open in the KSRTC bus depot in Kengeri. Rajender Kumar Kataria, managing director, KSRTC, first saw the vehicle on a visit to the depot. Checks revealed that the engine was in good nick and the body too was in good fettle, despite having seen 70 summers, albeit a good number of them idle. Seeing the decent condition of the vehicle and recognising its heritage value, Kataria thought of putting the septuagenarian on show after a nip and a tuck.
Kataria said the bus will be placed permanently at the KSRTC office premises located on Double Road in the central part of Bangalore.