KSRTC’s superclass buses to run for seven years

Amendment to Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules to effect change

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is set to increase the life span of buses operating as superclass services by two years to avoid buying new buses in view of the utility’s financial crunch.

An amendment to the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules (KMVR) will give the State transport undertaking a breather to operate for seven years the deluxe, multi-axle Volvo, and Scania buses it has purchased. The time span is five years now. The move is on the lines of the increase in the life span of fast passenger and super fast passenger buses.

The KSRTC’s decision comes in the wake of the finding that contract carriages operating from the key cities of the State to Chennai, Bengaluru, and other places are more than 10 years old and that there are buses that are 15 years old.

A top official of the KSRTC says they find no such restrictions on life span in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) and it is not followed in other State transport undertakings. In Kerala, only the KSRTC has been given the right to operate superclass services. Over 2,800 buses have completed five to seven years and this is turning to be a matter of concern.

Class conversion

Once the KMVR is amended, the KSRTC will be able to operate the buses plying as superclass for another two years and later downgrade and change paint to convert them into ordinary services for another 13 years. Ordinary buses will have to be pulled out from the road once it completes 20 years after registration.

The KSRTC is also pondering on ways to overcome the financial crunch and augment the fleet. The biggest concern is the diversion of the budgetary allocation for paying the pensions through the consortium of cooperative societies. For the past two years, no major fleet augmentation has been undertaken.

Securing loans to the tune of ₹300 crore from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) to purchase 1,000 buses has also not worked out for the KSRTC. The corporation will have to make repayments and pay the interest to KIIFB through escrow account after pledging the depots. “We have sought exemption and dilution of the norms and are awaiting a response from the KIIFB,” the official said.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 9:12:17 PM |

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