Space yet to be leased out in completed facilities

The multi-crore bus terminal-cum-shopping complexes of the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC), taken up under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mode, are turning unviable for the transport utility.

Work on four complexes was taken up under BOT, on land owned by the KSRTC, by the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation (KTDFC). Fifty-nine depots have been identified for terminal complexes.

The complexes at Angamaly and Thampanoor, the first two to be taken up, have not been able to attract traders to their commercial space, sources told The Hindu. Certain loopholes in the agreement with the KTDFC such as lack of a timeframe for handing over the terminal to KSRTC, and issues over profit-sharing had cost the KSRTC dear.

At Angamaly, the KTDFC could not lease out 75,959.99 sq.ft. commercial space in the first, second, and third floors of the seven-storey complex commissioned in 2011. Bidding was taken up five times. High deposit and cumbersome procedures are said to be the main bottlenecks.

The first phase of bidding of the 1,38,544 sq.ft. commercial space in the 12-storey complex at Thampanoor is also not encouraging. A KTDFC official said only 50 per cent of the space had been leased out. Response to the Thiruvalla and Kozhikode BOT projects could be the same, sources said. The complexes might take several years to generate revenue.

The KSRTC has now decided not to go for BOT projects. The corporation will to use its resources and Plan funds to build terminals. A beginning was made in Malappuram by accepting interest-free loans from those interested in taking shops on lease.

The corporation has decided to go for economically viable “mini” complexes instead of high-rise complexes. Nedumangad, Neyyattinkara, and Kasaragod bus terminals are now being developed directly by the State transport utility.