Nod for securing Rs.10-crore loan from transport workers’ society

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is gearing up to take possession of 10 state-of-the-art Volvo multi-axle buses from Bangalore for services on long-distance routes, especially in the inter-State sector.

A team of KSRTC officials had visited Bangalore to inspect the buses that were readied for handing over to the transport utility. The team has submitted its inspection report, official sources told The Hindu.

The posting of the photographs of the buses that are to be inducted into the fleet on the blog much before the inspection had upset the KSRTC management.

The public transport utility needs a whopping Rs.10 crore to purchase the 10 buses. The corporation is looking towards various funding agencies for securing a loan of Rs.10 crore.

The government has cleared the request of the KSRTC to avail itself of a loan of Rs. 10 crore from the Kerala State Transport Workers Society (KSTWS) on condition that it would not create any liability to it.

The KSRTC needs one week to clear the formalities such as registration with the Motor Vehicles Department once it takes possession of the buses, sources said.

Stiff competition

As there is stiff competition in the inter-State segment from private operators, the fares for these buses will also have to be worked out by the management.

As per the plan, the KSRTC will operate nine Volvo buses on inter-State routes, especially to Chennai and Bangalore, and keep the remaining one as spare.

Multi-axle buses, compared with conventional-axle buses, enhance the comfort level of long-distance travel. Unlike the ordinary Volvo bus that has a seating capacity of 44, the multi-axle Volvo buses can accommodate 49 as the chassis is long.

The KSRTC has to phase out three Volvo buses plying on the Thiruvananthapuram-Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam sectors since December 17, 2008. The buses, operated under the brand name Garuda, were bought for Rs.70 lakh each six years ago.

The purchase of the 10 buses, each costing Rs. 1 crore, was cleared by the KSRTC board last year.

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