Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) chairman J B Koshy observed on Thursday that the government decision to provide free conveyance to school children in the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses would push the public utility into grave financial crisis.

The rights panel sought a written explanation from the KSRTC whether the free conveyance decision has the nod of the Cabinet and any GO in this regard has been issued. Or was it a unilateral decision of the KSRTC?

Koshy directed the KSRTC to submit the details of expected loss for providing free transport to students before February 5. He also pointed out that Justice M Ramachandran Commission had recommended 25 percent increase in bus charge for students while effecting general hike in bus fares, which was rejected by the State Government.

Koshy said that providing free conveyance to school students would have long-term negative impact on the exchequer. The free travel for students would crowd the buses and add to the woes of the travelling general public depending on the utility daily. The Commission also asked whether this move was to help the private bus services plying on the length and breadth of the state?

The Commission inquired if KSTRC had conducted any economic impact study on the move. The case will be heard on February 11. The complaint was filed by social activist P K Raju.

New Indian Express