Pointing at the need for a complete restructuring of the distressed Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the budget also made allocation for its future requirements. Over 5,000 buses of KSRTC buses will be fitted with compressed natural gas (CNG) in five years.
An amount of `300 crore was allocated to buy 1,000 new CNG buses in Ernakulam. The money will come from anti-recession fund as loan. Body of chassis already bought will be built using the fund. But Finance Minister Thomas Isaac did point out the huge loss the corporation has incurred. The LDF government could bring down the monthly loss of KSRTC from `105 crore to `85 crore. But still it has a total debt of `3,446.92 crore.
“We cannot go on for long. A life saving package has to be found out,” said Isaac. He also spelt out the need to improve the revenue and reduce the additional expenditure. Reacting to the budget proposal, former Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the budget did not allocate any money for converting the entire fleet to CNG. According to him, it takes `5 lakh for a diesel vehicle to be converted into CNG bus.
News : The New Indian Express