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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 24 November 2020 4.22 AM IST

Editorial: Will new package help KSRTC?

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Kerala government has come up with a new revival package for KSRTC, which seems is reluctant is reluctant to reform itself at any cost.
The new experiment is based on the conviction that restoration projects that have been tried many times before and abandoned halfway have done no good.

The new step is in tune with the government policy that the public sector should be protected at any cost.

Over the last three years, the government had given Rs 4160 cr to the KSRTC. Despite pumping money from parsimonious exchequer, the KSRTC could not see a turn around.
The outbreak of Covid worsened its condition further. For the KSRTC to see Covid disappearing and situation returning to normal.

Many committies had come forward in between to save the KSRTC but nothing was completely successful.

Some responsible officers who came to head the KSRTC also tried to revive the KSRTC but they were actually not allowed to do something good.

With elections round the corner, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the other day announced the revival package for the KSRTC., which mainly aims at improving the financial status of the KSRTC.
.The highlights of the package are Rs 1,500 as interim relief to all employees every month till next salary revision; SWIFT, the proposed subsidiary of KSRTC to run Scania, Volvo and long-distance services, will employ empanelled staffers; Rs 961 cr interest dues of the corporation to be written off; Rs 3,194-cr loan will be converted to shares; Title deeds to be given for all KSRTC properties; Govt to consult the banks’ consortium for a new loan package; New measures for increasing income
Rs 4,160 cr worth of assistance provided to the corporation so far by the LDF govt

The amount deducted from the staff salary for depositing in various financial institutions paid back as arrears from 2016. For medical reimbursement also the government will give 255 crore.


The chief minister has also given the assurance that the empanelled staff won’t be dismissed. Shoddy administration, excess employees and insincere approach are stifling the KSRTC. Any attempts to reform the KSRTC by sincere officers discouraged by their frequent transfers

Following Covid, the sector mostly affected was KSRTC . The new package is for reducing the gap between income and expenditure to Rs 500 crore. The government will give this as grant. But how long can government continue this.

Complaints galore regarding the services rendered by the KSRTC. When the crisis thickens there is a feeling that the government will come to the help and this resulted in lax attitude among the top administrative officers of the corporation.


Revival package will be successful only if this attitude changes. The income will increase if there is diversification in its
activities.

The beginning of parcel-courier services is part of this. Without burdening the Corporation, business enterprises can be started in depots.

Due to improper planning many spaces in Thiruvananthapuram Central depot are lying vacant.

It is said that a new depot is going to be built to operate CNG-electric buses. It will also be modeled on the KURTC. Why not start new corporations at the regional level on the same model? A decentralized system is needed to increase and diversify functionality. The electric bus service, which started on a trial basis, ended unnoticed. As more electric-CNG buses have to be rolled out, care must be taken not to challenge their operation.

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