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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 22 May 2024 1.25 PM IST

KSRTC's profitability drive sparks public concern; Widespread cutbacks in ordinary services

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The extensive reduction in ordinary services by KSRTC due to lack of profitability is causing distress among the public. Daily service has decreased by one lakh kilometers over three months, with a requirement that trips must generate at least 28 rupees per kilometer to continue. Services during midday and at night have been particularly affected, leaving passengers waiting for hours, especially in southern and hilly regions where KSRTC is the sole provider. Many routes have no buses after 8 pm.

Three months ago, daily service was 15 lakh km, but it's now less than 14 lakh km, with the number of buses decreasing from 4500-4750 to 3900-4000 per day. This reduction, supposedly for route revision, was initiated by the Transport Minister. The cutbacks started in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts and have since spread. KSRTC claims to have cut 52,456 km of unprofitable service statewide.

Night trips were stopped under the assumption that suspended overnight stays would resume. Previously, the last stay bus trip was between 10 and 11 pm, but now ends by 8 or 9 pm and resumes in the morning only when there's sufficient demand. Trade Unions have not objected, as employees still have work.

Private companies are following KSRTC's model by reducing trips during off-peak hours. When complaints arose, the Transport Minister instructed the motor vehicle department to take action against private buses, sparking opposition from private bus owners. The question was, if KSRTC can do it, why can't they? This situation highlights the need for reform, with daily targets set and ordinary services being converted into express services to meet a daily revenue target of 9 crores.

Sector ---------- Target--------- Achieved---- Percent

South-------- 3,62,91,400---- 2,59,74,849---- 71.57

Central---- 3,16,52,300--- 2,10,56,097 --- 66.52

North ---- 2,50,13,200-- 1,64,92,704--- 65.94

Total--------- 9,29,56,900--- 6,35,23,650--- 68.34

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