It is estimated that 1,500 of the total 5,300 daily schedules operated by the KSRTC are on uneconomic routes.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which is hard-pressed to pay pension to 37,000 retired employees besides having to pay more for high-speed diesel, has initiated several cost-cutting measures.

As part of the plans being worked out to salvage the loss-making transport corporation from collapse, the management will identify uneconomic bus routes that are operated due to political compulsion or other reasons.

Official sources told The Hindu on Sunday that the KSRTC had begun work on Sunday to identify these bus routes.

Analysis

A depot-wise analysis is also being worked out to identify the routes.

It is estimated that 1,500 of the total 5,300 daily schedules operated by the KSRTC are on uneconomic routes.

As bus fare hike has been ruled out, the corporation has sought an immediate financial assistance of Rs.200 crore from the government to tide over the financial crisis and to pay pension to retired employees this month.

Waiver of Sales Tax

The KSRTC is also seeking a waiver on the 19.8 per cent Sales Tax paid on diesel in order to keep the State transport undertaking afloat.

The corporation has decided to ‘cash in’ on the situation created by the high rates it has to pay for HSD after being tagged along with 53-odd State transport undertakings as bulk consumers from Friday.

The move to wind up the uneconomic bus routes across the State is a step in this regard, sources said. The corporation has decided to strengthen services in the nationalised sector and closely monitor the schedules and the revenue generated.

In another swift move, 300-odd buses that were in Pampa for the just concluded Mandala-Makaravilakku season in Sabarimala have been shifted to the central workshop at Pappanamcode in Thiruvananthapuram and to four regional workshops across the State.

Sources said the buses had been shifted to the central and regional workshops at Mavelikara, Aluva, Edapal, and Kozhikode instead of sending them back to the parent depots.

They said the move was aimed at having greater control over the operation of the fleet.

The majority of these 300-odd buses were operating on uneconomic routes and the KSRTC had found that commuters were not put to much hardship when the buses were shifted to Pampa for the last two-and-a-half months.

Commuters to be hit

Sources said the KSRTC’s withdrawal from uneconomic routes would affect the commuters badly if private operators did not operate on the stretch.

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