Kerala

Now, ‘classroom on wheels’ from KSRTC

KSRTC buses  lying idle at the Eenchakkal operating center,  in Thiruvananthapuram.

KSRTC buses lying idle at the Eenchakkal operating center, in Thiruvananthapuram. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Close on the heels of the ‘Shop on Wheels’ initiative where Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses that are not road worthy were given an image makeover and turned into shops, the public utility’s buses are being repurposed for academic instruction too.

The corporation’s buses that were intended to be scrapped will now be turned into classrooms following a request from Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty, Minister for Transport Antony Raju said here on Tuesday. The intention was to bring the discarded buses into school compounds and transform them into classrooms. Three or four such classrooms could be set up.

Several buses of the loss-making corporation that are lying idle will get a fresh lease of life through the initiative.

The first such classroom will become a reality in the capital city. Two low-floor buses are being provided to Government Teacher Training Institute, Manacaud.

This, though, is not the first time that out-of-service KSRTC buses are hosting a campus infrastructure. The Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the University of Kerala’s Karyavattom campus recently received a KSRTC bus, while one was allotted to Government Upper Primary School, Beemanad, Mannarkkad, in Palakkad, for setting up a library.

Other initiatives

Establishing classrooms, libraries, and other school infrastructure in KSRTC buses will allow students to experience learning in a different atmosphere. As far as the corporation is concerned, the returns are unlimited as it is society that benefits, KSRTC chairman and managing director Biju Prabhakar said.

The Women and Child Department has also proposed that KSRTC buses be repurposed for anganwadis without own buildings.

The cash-strapped corporation has handed over at least 55 buses on rent to various government entities for setting up ‘Shop on Wheels’ . These include Kudumbashree and Milma.

KSRTC gets a paltry ₹2.5 lakh if a bus is scrapped. With a base rent of ₹20,000 a month received under ‘Shop on Wheels,’ it will get the same amount in a year. As the modified buses have a life of minimum five years, the KSRTC stands to earn a total of ₹12.5 lakh, Mr. Prabhakar said.

One KSRTC bus has been converted into a mobile lab for the National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Thrissur, while three have been given for transporting fisherwomen under the Samudra name, all for rent.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 9:47:23 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/now-classroom-on-wheels-from-ksrtc/article65424000.ece