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Saturday, 13 April 2024 2.10 AM IST

No new buses for KSRTC-SWIFT; Reforms in reverse gear?

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Ministry of Transport is seriously contemplating moves to change KSRTC SWIFT from the status of an independent company. Swift buses were introduced for long-distance travel within the state. The ministry has decided to give the first batch of the newly purchased buses to KSRTC, and not provide anything to Swift.

According to the 2023 Public Sector Undertakings Performance Report, 'SWIFT' is the only profitable public sector transport system. As KSRTC was heavily indebted, SWIFT was formed as an independent company to acquire the KIIFB loan. Most of the reforms implemented as part of government policy are now moving at a sloth pace. It will be only after the elections that the ministry will seriously consider plans to overhaul SWIFT.

SWIFT was launched in February 2022. The labor unions back then protested the formation so the present decision is expected to sit well with them. Operating costs increase when long-distance buses are run in KSRTC Service Wage Schemes. To avoid this, SWIFT was introduced by appointing contract employees. The maintenance cost was also brought down significantly by allowing the contract to the manufacturer.

Planned Reforms:

  • Employees will be transferred from SWIFT to KSRTC and vice versa

  • Online booking of long-distance buses reverted to KSRTC

  • Change in conductor cum driver system

The delivery of new buses and long-distance trips was the main cause of opposition to the SWIFT bus from trade unions in KSRTC. Long-distance buses have double and triple-duty systems. SWIFT has 1300 temporary employees. They currently have a special uniform. These employees are not included in any unions so there existed little chance of an open protest from them.

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TAGS: KSRTC, SWIFT BUS, KERALA, BUS, SWIFT, REVERSE, MINISTRY
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