Corporation councillors say KSRTC has violated agreement
“We were not told” is the essence of the response given by the city Corporation officials regarding the protest they staged at the Thampanoor bus stand on Monday, blocking the first inter-city Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) low-floor air-conditioned bus bound for Kochi. The first trip was cancelled owing to their agitation against the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)’s move to launch an intercity service network.
According to Mayor K. Chandrika, there is an agreement overseeing the “temporary” operation of the JNNURM buses in the city between the respective city Corporation and KSRTC, and one of the provisions states that the local self-government need also be part of discussions regarding any change, be it in fare hike or change in route.
“These buses were brought into the city in the interests of public service and to ease traffic congestion. The civic body itself could have put an operating system in place, but we got into an arrangement with the KSRTC,” the Mayor told The Hindu, underlining that the fact that they were not consulted prior to putting the new intercity system in place was a blatant violation of the agreement between the two parties.
“It’s not just that they are going outside the city periphery but we found that the rates are higher,” said works standing committee chairperson V.S. Padmakumar. He said Minister for Transport Aryadan Mohammed would intervene and discuss with officials of the KSRTC before the inter-city scheme gets under way.
V. Sivankutty, MLA, was also part of this blockade, along with standing committee chairpersons S. Pushpalatha, Shajida Nazar, P. Syamkumar, K.S. Sheela and over 20 councillors of the Corporation.