Private bus operators can ply in non-profitable routes manned by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, the Kerala High Court observed today.

Justice C K Abdul Rahim made the oral observation while considering a batch of petitions by former employees seeking pensionary benefits.

The court also said a constructive plan should be brought to restructure the KSRTC. The state—owned corporation informed the court that its monthly revenue was Rs 150 crore a month and expenses touched Rs 239 crore. There was heavy pension liability every month, it said. The court said it was desirable to permit private operators in non-profitable routes of KSRTC.

KSRTC was also directed to place before the court its restructuring plans by September 19.

KSRTC should curtail services if not viable: HC

The Kerala High Court Friday ruled that the KSRTC may scuttle services on routes where it is not making profit and let private operators ply there. There should be a detailed study on how to make KSRTC profitable, the court observed. Justice C.K. Abdul Rahim made the observation while considering petitions filed by retired employees of KSRTC.

The KSRTC can cut down services on routes where it is not profitable and let in private operators. KSRTC should be run without loss in future. The government, in its revamp package, should include measures to tide over the financial crunch faced by KSRTC.

Meanwhile, the KSRTC informed the court that the government has outstanding dues of Rs 1,145 crores towards KSRTC. The entity has a turnover of Rs 150 crore and expenses of Rs 239 crore. 65 percent of the earnings by KSRTC is spent as pension for the retired KSRTC staff, said KSRTC Managing Director, Antony Chacko, in his affidavit submitted in the court.

The court has directed the state transport corporation to submit an affidavit before September 19 explaining the steps to be taken by the government for the revamp of KSRTC.

Source: The Hindu, Malayala Manorama