KSRTC may scrap e-bus plan; Minister Ganesh Kumar hints at route rationalisation

A electric bus operated by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) can start making a profit only if it reduces the cost of operation and increases revenue, said Transport Minister K B Ganesh Kumar.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Ganesh Kumar said KSRTC would discontinue redundant routes and modify some as part of cost-cutting. He said each bus would be subjected to cost accounting.

E-bus not a success
Minister Ganesh Kumar said that electric buses were not a success and often generate meagre profit. "I don't agree with the purchase of electric buses. Most of the buses run empty. The bus fare is Rs 10. How much will a bus generate? It is not that these buses can carry 100 passengers. Even if they did, how much would they earn, Rs 1,000 per trip? How much is the electricity charge? What about the driver's salary? Then, KSRTC has to pay 28 paise per km to SWIFT. So if you run 100 km, how many rupees will it make?'' the minister said.

"KSRTC runs most services and generates revenue from the hilly regions of the state where there is no railway connectivity. But e-bus can't be used in those places," he added.

Ganesh Kumar said he has a plan to pay the salaries of KSRTC employees correctly and is making efforts for it. "I have spoken to the Chief Minister about it. We are looking to pay salaries at one go," he said. The minister said the Corporation would also launch 'Where is my KSRTC' app that can locate the buses.

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