KSRTC eyes east route monopoly

Soon passengers commuting on the Tripunithura-Thiruvankulam route will see fewer private buses as many of them will be replaced by brand new KSRTC buses in a phased manner.

“The Tripunithura-Thiruvankulam intermediate points lie on a nationalised route and as per the rules, private buses are not authorised to operate services touching two notified points.

Hence we recently objected to renewing 67 temporary permits for private buses in the sector,” KSRTC zonal officer Sebastian Thomas said.

The corporation has cited a Supreme court ruling, banning permits to private buses on nationalised routes in the state.

“The RTA has promised not to renew the permits of these buses, which will expire in a maximum of four months. We’ll roll out 12 KSRTC buses to run on the route in the first stage.

We plan to introduce new buses in this sector, originally bought for running Rajdhani services, in a step-by-step manner,” the official said.

Deputy transport commissioner P.A. Sainudheen said the KSRTC was yet to apply for permits.

“The 67 permits have been granted on a temporary basis under the Kerala Motor Act 104.

But we’ll issue the permits only if the corporation applies for the same. The corporation does not have enough buses to replace the private ones.”

A senior KSRTC official said they expected the new lot of buses to come in by the first week of September after which they would apply for the entire lot.

“We’ll request for 12 permits initially. We’re already operating enough services – 56 buses or 196 trips daily, on the Muvattupuzha sector.”

The corporation’s collection on the Ernakulam-Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam Piravom and Ernakulam-Kottayam routes has been diminishing over the years.

The sudden move in the wake of the supreme court order is to stem the losses on the crucial route.