Can anyone save this white elephant?

Krishna Kumar K.E has written an article in Deccan Chronicle about the topic “Can anyone save this white elephant, KSRTC?”.

A bus that has outlived its utility usually gets condemned to the junkyard. But does this principle apply to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which runs over 5556 buses throughout the State?

If you pose this question to the daily commuters, they’ll probably tell you that both the KSRTC and its buses have been condemned by them long ago.

So, what is the reason for such extreme dislike? Rude behaviour on the part of drivers and conductors, exorbitant fares and the KSRTC jalopies that are various states of disrepair.

It’s no wonder then that KSRTC has proved to be a white elephant meant for the interests of a few and not the comfort and convenience of the general public. The Corporation, in fact, has already come in for severe criticism.

The criticisms are virtually omnipresent; you’ll find them in blogs, websites, TV channels, newspapers and magazines.

Not that its critics want KSRTC to be scrapped. Instead, they want a transport corporation that ‘runs’ smoothly.

But, it appears, no one is capable of meeting their demands. For, successive governments have tried hard to drag the ana (KSRTC’s pet name) out of the pit of financial crisis where it has found itself.
Given its track record, is it now possible to turn it around?

Former transport minister Mathew T. Thomas says the Corporation’s real crisis comes from non-operation expenditure like pension and loan repayment.

“It incurs a loss of Rs 40 crore every month,” Thomas said. Interestingly, KSRTC’s collection has increased to Rs 115 crore a month. Despite this, pension and loan repayment alone costs the Corporation a recurring expenditure of Rs 51 crore a month! The only solution, according to Thomas, is to generate non-operational income substantially.

However, many other officials disagree with him. They say everything with the corporation would be fine if politicians kept away, leaving its day-to-day management to professionals.

“All that’s needed is a professional management. The KSRTC board should have only qualified professionals and not political representatives,” a top official said.

According to him, computerisation, modern marketing techniques, a well-designed demand-supply chain operational model, schedule optimisation, and, timely replacement of unmotorable buses should be the top priority.

The sceptic official also blamed the Corporation’s trade union model of functioning. “It won’t go along with modern management,” he said.

Further, it’s time social commitments like pension, student concessions and losses emanating from operating buses in non-profitable routes are funded by the government.

“Kerala is the only state where these are met by the Corporation alone,” the official pointed out.

Regular commuters, however, have a different take on the state-of-affairs at KSRTC. Vinod G., a businessman and regular KSRTC commuter, says the Corporation should first begin with improving the scheduling of its buses.

“For instance, it recently cancelled one of its buses in the Kottarakkara-Bangalore route though it was running profitably. Now, there’s only one bus left and it’s overcrowded. They’ve some sort of deal with private bus operators,” alleged Vinod.

The other two profitable routes are Kozhikode and Coimbatore from Kottarakkara.

“Private operators have deployed luxury coaches in these routes whereas KSRTC has only very old buses?” he asked.

Suggestions are many. But, as they say, a wild elephant doesn’t always fit into man-made calculations!

Copyright © 2011 Deccan Chronicle.



  1. more proffitable routs from calicut

    CALICUT-THIRUR (LS) (VIA university,parapanangadi,thanur,thirur)
    CALICUT-THIRUR (LS) (VIA university,vylathur)
    CALICUT-VENGARA (LS) (VIA university)
    CALICUT-PARAPANAGADI(VIA feroke,kottakadavu,vallikkunnu,chettipadi)

    ee routugalil privet buses panam varunnu,ksrtc ee rout kandituupolium illa
    privet bussile asleelangal kettu madutha ividuthe passengers theerchayayum KSRTC ye sweegarikkum.

    • If they starts in any routes people will aceept. The problem is that these guys are not ready to start services in main routes. Look at the situation of chain services like KJPLY/Mundakayam-Punalur, kottayam-kozhencherry chain services. Mndkym-punalur chain service was started with 21 buses from different depots, No the no of buses come down to 12 or 13. Same story with kottayam-kozhencherry chain service. They started with 14 buses and now the count came down to 10 or 11, Both of the services giving a good daily collection as per KeSRTC. The private bus lobbies started their work to destroy the chain services which were very useful for passengers. Nothing we can do at this point of time. Just see the stuffs for next 4 yrs.

  2. Just have a look who all avail free passage/concessional fair facilities in KSRTC!!!!!!!!
    1.Ministers ( Never avails the previlege)
    2.Ex-Ministers (rarely avails,, ,, ,,)
    3.M L As
    5.Board members& Ex.board members.
    6.Freedom Fighters.
    8.Disabled (fare rate may vary)
    9.Serving Staff (Only deserving section for the previlege)
    10.Retired Staff (subject to distance& class limits-Deserving)
    If so who bear the operational cost of this firm?If the Body is managed by a private authority /Professional management isit possible them to enjoy these?
    More over the KSRTC not paid promplty for rendering buses to administrative resposibilties ..Election,,Law & order,emergency services..etc….

  3. ബാംഗ്ലൂര്‍ വണ്ടികളുടെ കാര്യം എല്ലാവര്ക്കും അറിയാവുന്ന സത്യമല്ലേ..???

  4. can you take the number of parallel services in kerala mostly running in KSRTC routes. The major portion of collection is eating bythem without any permit . LDF OR UDF can’t stop these unauthorised vehicles in kerala. Why KSRTC or govt. didn’t take steps to stop these type of services. if Govt took steps to stop these parallel services definitly the collection will go up .

  5. ഇത് ലേഖനത്തിനു വേണ്ടിയുള്ള ഒരു ലേഖനം ആണെന്ന് വായിക്കുന്നവര്‍ക്കെല്ലാം മനസ്സിലാകും ..കെ എസ്ആര്‍ ടി സി ക്ക് ഈ കാലഘട്ടത്തില്‍ ഉണ്ടായിട്ടുള്ള മാറ്റമോ അതിന്റെ വര്‍ദ്ധിച്ച പ്രസക്തിയോ ലേഖകന്‍ മനസ്സിലാക്കിയിട്ടില്ല …മുന്‍പ് മനോരമക്ക് സ്ഥിരം ഒരു പരിപാടി ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു ..വര്‍ഷത്തില്‍ ഒരിക്കല്‍ കെ എസ്ആര്‍ ടി സി യേ കുറിച്ചു ഒരു പരമ്പര തയ്യാറാക്കും ..തമാശ എന്തെന്നാല്‍ പഴയ പരമ്പരയിലെ വാചകങ്ങളും വരികളോ പോലും അതെ പടി ആവര്‍ത്തിക്കും ..എളുപ്പ ജോലി ആണല്ലോ ….സ്വന്തം ഫണ്ടില്‍ നിന്നും എടുത്തു പെന്‍ഷന്‍ നല്‍കുന്നതാണ് ഈ സ്ഥാപനം നഷ്ട്ടത്തില്‍ ആകുന്നതിന്റെ പ്രധാന കാരണം എന്ന് ഈ നാട്ടിലെ ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ മുഴുവന്‍ അറിയാം ..പിന്നെ പഴയ കടത്തിന്റെ പലിശയും ..പെന്‍ഷന്‍ നല്‍കുന്നതിനായി കെ ടി ഡി എഫ് സി യേ പോലുള്ള സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ ബ്ലേഡ് കമ്പനിയില്‍ നിന്നും വാങ്ങുന്ന കടങ്ങളും കൂടി ചേരുമ്പോള്‍ ലിസ്റ്റ് പൂര്‍ണ്ണമാകും ..പെന്‍ഷന്‍ സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ ഏറ്റെടുത്താല്‍ ഒറ്റ തവണ തീര്‍പ്പാക്കല്‍ പദ്ധതിയിലൂടെ കടങ്ങള്‍ ഇല്ലാതാക്കാനുള്ള ഒരു പദ്ധതി സെന്‍ കുമാര്‍ സാര്‍ ആവിഷ്കരിച്ചിരുന്നു …മാനേജ്മെന്റുകള്‍ ലക്ഷക്കണക്കിന്‌ കോഴ വാങ്ങി നിയമനം നടത്തുന്ന അധ്യാപകര്‍ക്ക് ശമ്പളവും പെന്‍ഷനും നല്‍കുന്ന സര്‍ക്കാരുകള്‍ക്ക് ,പി എസ് സി നടത്തിയ പരീക്ഷ പാസായി നിയമനം ലഭിച്ച ഉദ്യോഗര്തികള്‍ക്ക് പെന്‍ഷന്‍ നല്‍കാനുള്ള ബാധ്യത ഇല്ലേ ? അത് നടക്കുകയാണെങ്കില്‍ കെ എസ്ആര്‍ ടി സി യുടെ കണക്കുകള്‍ പ്രകാരം പ്രതിമാസം 15 കോടി രൂപ ലാഭമുള്ള സ്ഥാപനമായി കെ എസ്ആര്‍ ടി സി മാറും ..കാര്യങ്ങള്‍ ആഴത്തില്‍ പഠിക്കാതെ പത്രപ്രവര്‍ത്തകര്‍ നടത്തുന്ന ഇത്തരം ലേഖന കസര്‍ത്തുകള്‍ ആരെ വിഡ്ഢികള്‍ ആക്കാന്‍ വേണ്ടിയാണെന്ന് മനസ്സിലാകുന്നില്ല

    • What ever u said is correct. But there are more to do with KSRTC including rescheduling of existing routes, improve the condition of buses by proper maintenence, making use of new technologies. We can take KaSRTC as role model becuase lot of good stuffs they implemented.

  6. KeSRTC can be saved if the pension burden is removed from the Cotporation.

    KeSRTC buses are mostly full disrespective of its unprofessional scheduling and bad buses. Many users of this blog has written about the need of a Professional management. The politicians should be kept out of the Corporation. Managing Director should be given more freedom to govern. He should be assisted by able management staff. Board should have professionals and not political nominees. Can UDF Govt. take bold and dynamic measures to bring out such face shift methods.

    Look at the example of Railways during the period of Sri. Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav. It was Nitish Kumar who set the Railways on a firm footing. Lalu Prasad implementd it! Can’t KeSRTC also take such bold steps.

    The behaviour of the crew also will change if the top management gets a professional base.

    Trade Unions also should understand the need of the hour.

  7. The fundamental existance of ksrtc need to be reworked. See the fact below
    1. Long distance and interstate – operated well by private and other state corporation
    2. Short route – mostly by private or owned by localbodies under JNNRUM
    3. Social responsibilities – they claim that they are operating non profitable route. But the fact that even profitable routes are cancelled.lastweek after psc exam there was mad rush at ekm busstand and unfortunately ksrtc could not meet the requirement resulted in complete chaos
    4if we think that existance of ksrtc will prevent unnessary fare hike by private. But it is viseversa and they are the one who ask for fare hike

    so in a nutshell ksrtc is just a puppet for polititians and feed the retired employees. Not at all comuter freindly

    • A highly biased comment – against KSRTC without trying to know anything about the points mentioned. Indirectly, it kind of suggests, KSRTC need not exist!

      • jyotish the above comment of Mr.Krishnan is the real fact of ksrtc . Why people over here cant digest instead of disliking the comments of that person and hiding it. If this is the case better you guys rename this blog as LDF-ksrtc blog ( only good things about ksrtc should be written here and ksrtc lovers alone should travel by ksrtc.)…

        • LDF-ksrtc blog? Neither Krishnan nor myself mentioned about LDF…

          A genuine question – Why are you here? Are you here just to express your dislikes to whatever happened to KSRTC from 2006-11?

          You agree to Krishnan and I disagree instead… Its genuine for a disccussion… But you are keeping on expressing your dislikes to people who are no agreeing with you…

          • May be u never mentioned LDF but this site is LDF biased -so best naming will be “LDF ksrtc”. Moreover I cant accept nonsense against KSRTC. Its a simple thing, non of the kerlite who really travels by KSRTC likes ksrtc whether its rich or poor. This is mainly because KSRTC is in a pretty bad shape in terms of financial capability and their resources. Any hardcore citizen will go against that and thats the f**** thing im doing here. Im not a lover of ksrtc or a f*** fan.. Im a user of ksrtc and I cant say whatever data posted here is true because im not able to see it in my real time scenario. Many say express buses are good, tvla delux is wonderful , garuda is awesome.. Is it so????? Moreover jyotish I wholeheartedly say that 2006-2011 ksrtc has seen many nonsense- I dont think u can prove me wrong. Moreover try to post comments which can be accepted by people and not ur ksrtc lovers….Now dont come up and say im a private bus supporteeeeeee…I support the best means of travel and every citizen deserves that …

          • This blog itself is to discuss how we can improve KSRTC instead of how we can destroy KSRTC. I am agreeing that the politicians play a vital role in destroying KSRTC whether it is UDF or LDF. But some guys always says KeSRTC not good for anything ans please close down it. This is not the fact. Even if some employees and mngmnt people realy wnated to improve but the politicians ans other blody people inside and outside KSRTC try to kick out the idea. Best exmaple was Senkumar IAS. He had several ideas to implement and make it into profutfull organization. Some he has implemented when he was in position. Unfortunately now the people who has to take care themself destroy the KSRTC. Please check the local news in malayalamanorama in these days regarding how they conduct services. Today(19Aug ) also news is there in news papers

          • Renjith…

            It is not worth replying to you.. Its a loss of time and energy. Just one point only… You said ” Moreover jyotish I wholeheartedly say that 2006-2011 ksrtc has seen many nonsense- I dont think u can prove me wrong.”… There is no point in trying and proving you wrong even if somebody can … Because you will not accept anything which is against your views… So I am not trying to do it. For ‘2006-11’ please go through the archives in this blog to see very constrcutive discussions on the topic.


    • Even i faced the same problem in ktm-blr express,but when i informed the crew they told that it happened because of they changed one glass in ktm depot itself and they assured me that they will correct it by next day

  8. Velluvillachathalle against IRIZAR tvs buses!! Let us wait and see the life of these useless buses now.. and moreover look at the comment and a person has disliked it.. When facts are told few peoples who are really crazy doesnot accept,,,,,

  9. hello Jyotish,

    Why do u get agitated soon. Till date i have not provocked @ anyone except KSRTC . KSRTC was my subject because thats the part of our discussion for an healthy improvement and change in organisation to suit the passenger convenience. But why are getting into personal agitation by pointing at me. If you dare point ur fingers on the wrong things about an organisation which belongs to kerala community instead of writing something like a lost warrior..

    NB: once i have caught you saying that you are from ATL and know everything inch-inch in thiruvalla about ksrtc.. There was no reply after that 4m u . Do try to build some guts in using ur own name and commenting rather than using multiple id’s and names and trying to impose something and deviating to someother…r…..and moreover dont try to correct me..

    • If I remember right, admin disabled REPLY function in that post the same day. Thats why I could not reply.

      I am from Attingal, and I never put anonymous comments so far. Initially I used to use JK as my name, and later changed to Jyothish. ADMIN, please clarify if you think it is appropriate.

      The only intention behind saying, ‘I am from ATL, and not TVLA’ was to prevent YOU from rating my comments about THIRUVALLA deluxe from a perspective that ‘this person is from TVLA, and thats why he is posting PRO-TVLA comments’… I mistakenly believed that you would have the sense to understand this logic…

      I stood myself corrected in the blog, more than once. When I knew I was wrong, I accepted it right in this blog. dig the archived if you need proff. The reason why you are disliked by many is kind of evident from the last statement of your post – ‘and moreover dont try to correct me’. If you are not ready to be corrected, if needed, you CANNOT participate in a discussion logically.

      My impression about you from your posts (for the past two three months) is something like this…
      Always talk about Bnagalore buses, comfortable and luxurious journey, TVLA deluxe to be transferred to PTA, Always hype about the Private operators about Bangalore, Whatever happened in KSRTC over the past five years was non-sense, Welcome PVT buses in KSRTC routes etc etc.

      To me, the above things are either against my understanding, or are not the top things KSRTC should look at. Hence I tried to communicate by views (contradicting yours) in many posts. It is not because you are Renjit – instead it is because of the how you write and what you write.

      As I mentioned above, in my previous post, there is no point in replying to you. Since you made some personal remarks about me on how I do blogging, I was forced to write this much.

      I participate in these discussion for the message – “LOVE and IMRPOVE KSRTC”. I am sure I am not alone in this community to uphold this message,

      • Jyotish,

        Don’t spend energy to explain good things happend in KSRTC becuase he is not ready to accept the stuffs. We know we can prove that last five yrs was good for KSRTC. People in kerala have seen many good things happend. But this guy is always there to praise private inter state operators. Nobody is aganist the private operators. If he has any doubt regarding the developments happend he can browse and get the idea from old post in this site. I am also a UDF supporter. But the things now happening with KSRTC is very bad. Now we people has to do atleast something to save KSRTC. This blog is also for that purpose. Get the different idea from different people so that we can convey this to management of KSRTC to implement this. But some guys use this site only to say we don’t want KSRTC and KSRTC is not at all good.

        • Hi Jyotish & Rajeev,

          You are correct. I was bit adamant in not accepting certain msgs . Priorites are different for different types of people . For some if an ordinary bus is introduced his prority gets fullfilled for some if an interstate luxury bus is introduced his priority gets fullfilled so I too had a priority for which i stood by that.. Im not waging a war with anyone and Im stopping to comment henceforth.

          If at any time, I have in the course of blogging, unintentionally hurt your feelings, please accept my sincere apologies.. Wishing Sujith & team a great success in bringing such an opportunity in front of us to know KSRTC better.

  10. @ sreekumar ,
    Ksrtc startd the mkym/kjply-pta-plr chain service with 16buses only(6 frm pnkm,4frm pta and 6 frm plr depots).of tis ,4buses frm pta,2frm plr and 2frm pnkm are operating in mundakayam-punalur route(total 8) and the remaining 8buses in kjply-plr route.
    For the last 6months pta is not maintaing 4services.only 2frm pta runs properly .pnkm and plr runs al nw 14buses r runing.
    Ktm-kzry also 14runing jus go and watch in kzry every 20min frm 7am to 7pm there is ktm chain via mlpy

  11. every body knows how ksrtc made acheivements in last five years.ksrtc tried to get the monopoly by starting chains in routes where there r adequate ended in heavy loses for pvt services.then pvt operators tried to improve the quality of services and put luxurious buses to get pasengers.tis kind of introduction of chains wit pvt services result in competition and both parties wil be in loss

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