The Director Board of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), an entity running on fiscal thin ice, has given its approval to roll out 1500 new buses this year.
The decision was taken at a recent meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram.
As per the plan, new buses will be introduced in phases. The KSRTC had completed the rolling out of 500 new buses in October last year, a process which began in 2012. A hundred of them were utilised for running Sabarimala special services.
According to the KSRTC Managing Director M G Mohanlal, the Corporation is anticipating financial assistance from the government in this year’s state budget to procure the new buses. “Since this would require heavy investment, a state government allocation is mandatory. However, if we do not receive the funds for the same, we will be opting for a loan,” the MD said. Tenders for the new buses will be called in the coming days.
He added that the buses will be mostly used for Super Fast and Express services. “The operation time-period of the Super Fast and Express buses which are currently operating in the state is expected to be over in the coming months. So, it is mandatory to roll out the new buses,” a KSRTC official said. The existing Super Fast buses will be used for running ordinary services. The KSRTC has also plans to utilise the new buses which were used along the Pampa-Nilakkal route for the Sabarimala season in the existing routes. KSRTC officials said that new routes will also be identified for operation of the buses to boost revenue.
The bus bodies will be constructed at the Edappal, Kozhikode, Aluva, Mavelikkara and Thiruvananthapuram workshops. The Corporation will shortly introduce the final lot of 15 super deluxe buses out of the total 30. Currently, the KSRTC has a total of 6000 buses in its fleet.
Source: New Indian Express