Kochi

KSRTC’s non-AC low-floor buses set to be scrapped

A bulk of non-AC low-floor buses of the KSRTC will be scrapped due to poor upkeep. A scene from the agency’s Ernakulam depot.

A bulk of non-AC low-floor buses of the KSRTC will be scrapped due to poor upkeep. A scene from the agency’s Ernakulam depot. | Photo Credit: Vibhu H.

Close on the heels of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) deciding to sell as scrap a considerable number of the 190 low-floor air-conditioned buses that were procured over a decade ago under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, a few dozen non-AC low-floor buses that were purchased under the same scheme have been similarly lined up at its Ernakulam depot yard, to meet a similar fate.

A high-ranking official of the corporation confirmed that the buses that were purchased in 2009-2010 period would be scrapped. “They would well have operated at least a lakh kilometres more, if they were optimally maintained, while the Volvo low-floor AC buses can easily operate up to 20 lakh kilometres without engine trouble. The buses could have been repaired and re-introduced, but for the agency being neck-deep in debt,” he said.

In addition, the bus sector is crumbling in the State. The fall in the number of private buses and the receding patronage for contract carriage buses are proof for it, he added.

Incidentally, the KSRTC has decided to scrap the JNNURM buses, which were almost entirely funded by the Centre. Critics have been saying that the low-floor buses that were handed over to the KSRTC for urban transport and had the provision for GPS tracking would have yielded better revenue, had the corporation readied a passenger information system (PIS) to help commuters keep track of them.

The KSRTC has of late been insisting that bus manufacturers provide a service coordinator at site and also ready software for preventive maintenance of its new buses to ensure that they serve their life cycle. Official sources said a software-based maintenance system was crucial for big fleet operators like the KSRTC. Hitherto, repairs were carried out only after the buses broke down, or showed signs of breaking down.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2022 6:54:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ksrtcs-non-ac-low-floor-buses-set-to-be-scrapped/article65324251.ece