The guidelines had provided that the fund allotted under the scheme could only be used for improving the transport facilities of the urban areas.

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday adjourned to December 14 the hearing on a public interest petition against the action of the KSRTC in operating buses allotted under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme for Kochi to destinations outside the city limits.

The petition was adjourned to enable the government pleader to get instructions in the case.

The petition was filed by K.P. Pradeep. According to him, operation of the buses beyond the city limit was against the guidelines of JNNURM schemes.

The guidelines had provided that the fund allotted under the scheme could only be used for improving the transport facilities of the urban areas.

The scheme had envisaged forming a special purpose vehicle or a public body for implementing the scheme.

However, the buses bought under the schemes were entrusted with the KSRTC for operation in Kochi city. The petitioner said that as many as 50 air-conditioned and 120 non-air-conditioned low floor buses were made available for plying in the city. Of which, 45 A/C and 118 non-A/C buses were plying to various destinations in Ernakulum district.

However, of late, some of these buses were diverted to destinations outside the district like Thrissur and Kozhikode.

The petitioner said that the passengers in the city were hit hard by the decision of the authorities.

They were already having inadequate public transport system.

The petitioner sought a directive to set up a metropolitan transport authority or special purpose vehicle to manage and control the city bus services.

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