The KSRTC on Tuesday moved a petition before the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to Popular Front of India (PFI) State general secretary A. Abdul Sathar to pay a compensation of ₹5.6 crore to it for the damage and revenue loss caused to it during the recent hartal held by the outfit in the State.
In a petition, the KSRTC said that it had incurred huge losses owing to the damage caused by the supporters of the hartal even as it was struggling to stay afloat with government support. In fact, a substantial amount would be required for repairing the 58 buses damaged by the hartal supporters. When the loss of services of such buses during the repair period was calculated, the Corporation would again have to seek financial assistance from the State government.
The loss incurred by the KSRTC had to be recovered from the perpetrators of hartal, as it was a result of their highly illegal and terrorising act against the hapless public. In fact, the mechanical wing of the corporation had already assessed the damages. Besides, the loss of revenue due to the reduction of trips and schedules on the hartal day had also to be taken into account, the petition said.
It pointed out that the Corporation that usually made approximately ₹3.72 crore out of the service of 62% buses, had made only ₹2.13 crore on the hartal day. The approximate daily income of the KSRTC was ₹6 crore and interruption of the services on the day of hartal would amount to a loss of ₹4 crore. The KSRTC had to pay ₹1.10crore daily to the consortium banks as interest for the financial assistance it availed itself of. In fact, the corporation had been trying its best to increase the daily collection from ₹6 crore to ₹8 crore, as it was the only way to survive on its own without any financial assistance. The average daily collection in the last 10 days was more than ₹6 crore. Therefore, the corporation sustained a huge pecuniary loss.
While the cost of the damage would amount to ₹9,71,115 (9.71 lakh), the revenue loss due to cancellation of the trips on the hartal day was assessed at ₹3,95,82,969 (3.96 crore). The loss of schedules during the repair works of buses would be ₹86,53,830 (86.54 lakh) and the total loss of workforce due to cancellation of scheduled came to ₹14,13,468 (14.13 lakh). Therefore, the KSRTC was entitled to total compensation of ₹5,06,213,82 (5.06 crore) from the PFI State general secretary.
The petition also sought to implead KSRTC in the pending suo motu case relating to the holding of flash hartals without prior notice.