Kerala

KSRTC benefits from a busy Sabarimala season

Sabarimala pilgrims awaiting bus to Pampa at the Kottayam railway station.

Sabarimala pilgrims awaiting bus to Pampa at the Kottayam railway station.  

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Kottayam unit clocks ₹55 lakh in first two weeks

The fortunes of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) in Kottayam, hit by an acute shortage of drivers and service cancellations, are finally in for a revival, courtesy of a busy pilgrim season at Sabarimala.

The corporation, which currently operates a fleet of 25 buses connecting Kottayam and Pampa, in addition to 10 buses from Erumeli, has clocked a revenue of ₹55 lakh in the first two weeks of the ongoing season.

As per estimates, these special services cater to about 2,000-2,500 pilgrims daily, who reach Kottayam mostly by trains.

The daily income from the special services crossed the ₹5 lakh mark in the first week itself. According to sources, the income recorded by the corporation during the same period last year was less than ₹25 lakh, owing to the conflict situation on the temple premises.

Revenue from the special services has taken the average daily income of the corporation to ₹15 lakh, which stood around ₹9 lakh at the beginning of the season. The corporation was forced to cut down over a hundred of its schedules in the district following termination of empanelled employees two months ago.

More buses sought

Considering the sharp rise in pilgrim footfall, the Kottayam depot has now approached the KSRTC zonal authority to allot 10 more buses to clear the rush. “The flow has been so heavy that we now operate additional services from Erumeli by diverting buses in between their normal schedules. We have requested that the allocation of an additional fleet be advanced. The fleet is originally slated to join us on December 24 ahead of the Makaravilakku festival,” said Abdul Salam, District Transport Officer, Kottayam.

Private buses

The KSRTC buses for Pampa special services are stationed in front of the railway station in Kottayam and an office has been set up here to coordinate its operation. Besides the State-run vehicles, a huge fleet of private contract carriers too have been stationed along the road leading to the railway station from Nagampadam.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 4:05:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksrtc-benefits-from-a-busy-sabarimala-season/article30142409.ece

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