Cash-strapped KSRTC gets a blessing from pilgrim centre in Alappuzha

KSRTC special services to 'Kreupasanam' pilgrim centre lined up in Alappuzha. Photo: Special arrangement

Alappuzha: A growing trend of pilgrimage tourism in Kerala has given a much-needed succour to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) that is struggling to stay afloat.

While the KSRTC is eyeing a record collection in the upcoming Sabarimala season, the Christian pilgrimage centre, ‘Kreupasanam’, in Alappuzha has emerged a major revenue spinner for the debt-ridden public entity.

The corporation fetched an impressive Rs 8,04,380 on October 28 by facilitating the commutation of pilgrims from throughout the state to Kreupasanam for a mega 'prayer rally for world peace' .

The KSRTC deployed 41 buses, including 31 belonging to its specialized Budget Tourism Cell (BTC).

“The festival committee hired 10 of the 41 buses and conducted services on their own from the famous pilgrim centre of Arthunkal Church to Thiruvizha along the National Highway. This alone brought us Rs 1,29,800 (Rs 12980 per bus),” said a senior BTC official.
The KSRTC provides bus and crew for eight hours a day under its Private Hire scheme.

KSRTC launched 40 services to 'Kreupasanam' pilgrim centre in Alappuzha on October 28. Photo: Special arrangement

The KSRTC conducted services (number of buses) from Pala (4), Changanassery (2), Kottayam (3), Ponkunnam (2), Erumeli (2), Mavelikkara (1), Thodupuzha (2), Ernakulam (1), Kothamangalam (1), Thrissur (1), Chalakudy (2), Kollam (2), Pathanamthitta (4), Thiruvalla (1), Adoor (1), Ranni (1) and Neyyattinkara (1).

The success of the BTC cell of the KSRTC gives it much hope for the Sabarimala pilgrimage when it plans to operate charter services in a major way. The KSRTC relies heavilyon the three-month annual Sabarimala pilgrimage to eke out of its debt trap. During the last Sabarimala season, the KSRTC had a record daily collection of Rs 8.48 crore on January 16, 2023.

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