Kalyan's own KDMT!


The extended suburban twin cities of Kalyan and Dombivli, lacked a public transport system for years together. The local commutes of the passengers were at the grace of local autorickshaw operator, who never operate on the 'meter-tariff' but ask for a round figure amount which is always more than double the meter fare! In around 1997, the Municipal Corporation decided to start town bus services in the twin city. Political delays kept pushing off the project even as buses purchased for the service kept rotting at their depot!

Finally in 1999, the service took of with much pomp, and that was a dream come true for locals in the Kalyan-Dombivli Area. The service was named Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Transport, abbreviated as "KDMT". The bus service initially started off with about 40 buses, and 8 years down the lane, the undertaking now owns 105 buses, and operates about 30 more buses taken on hire! KDMT buses bear the registration mark "MH-05".

The service extended their wings to the adjoining Navi Mumbai in 1999 with one route between Kalyan and Vashi (Route No. 11) . This route became an instant success, and is still one of their most successful bus routes! The service extended its wings to Belapur CBD in 2001 with Route No. 15 (Kalyan-Konkan Bhavan). This route was initially a flop with poor patronage. They initially suspended bus services during noon hours when the rush was the poorest, but today - they send one bus every 20-30 minutes. In around 2004, KDMT introduced their third bus service to Navi Mumbai: Route number 12 between Badlapur and Vashi via Ambernath, Ulhasnagar. This service too was sucessful, but the current status of this bus service is not known!

KDMT operates about 40 non-Euro Leyland buses (MH 05-9601 till 9640), 40 Euro-I Leyland Buses (MH 05-9641 to 9681, excluding 9669), about 4 Leyland Stag mini-buses (MH 05-9682 till 9686) and about 21 Euro-1 'Hino' Leyland buses (MH 05-9669, MH 05-9687 to 9700 and MH 05-R-1001 till 1006). Making up a total of 105 buses. In addition to these, KDMT also operates around 30 Euro-2 Leyland buses (MH 05-R-1007 till 1036). The undertaking houses their buses at two depots. One at Ganeshghat near Kalyan on the Kalyan-Murbad Road, and the other one at Khambalpada at Thakurli near Dombivli.

The picture above is MH05-R-1006 waiting to return back to Kalyan from Belapur CBD Railway Station, working on Route no. 15.

The maintenance of the 105 buses owned by the undertaking is very poor, and sight of breakdowns are quite common. You could end up sitting in a bus with a leaking roof, or a window without a glass pane, or just in case the bus has a pane, that would be tied up with a rope to prevent it from falling down! In many cases, the back support of the seat breaks off, and they simply tie it down to the protective bar across the window! The buses make enough noise that the driver can manage without a horn. In one example today, I was traveling back from My examination centre in Dombivli to my home. The bus that came around was MH05-R-1006. The vehicle had some transmission problem, and the engine was not delivering the required amount of power. The bus stalled at a gradient, and the driver had a very bad time trying to revive the make the bus move ahead. The bus objected for about 5 minutes, but later the bus inched forward!

KDMT is surely the cheapest way to travel around Kalyan-Dombivli, but the poor frequency of the services makes waiting at the bus stop endless! The poor condition of the buses cause frequent breakdowns, and that too leads to cancellation of trips! The corporation needs lots of improvement to get back to its feet!


Yogesh Relekar said…
Seriously, KDMT need to put its shoulder to work in order to improve its bus service. Being the major system of intercity transport in Kalyan and Dombivli, it need to be reliable and frequent, which it exactly isn't!!
Another grouse with the system is that buses to Titwala, Vithalwadi, Bhiwandi etc. leave only from Kalyan, not Donbivli! That 'D' in KDMT should not be neglected. Also, the small stag buses were meant to provide decent frequency within the narraw roads of these 2 cities, but these are hardly seen! Nandivli, Bhopar, Azdepada, and other villages in the MIDC area don't seem to get the advantage o this service!
KDMT, please take lessons from BEST, both in management, technology and frequency!!!