No takers for Nava Kerala bus, service stopped

The premium facilities and the high-ticket fares failed to lure passengers to Nava Kerala bus. Photo: Manorama

Kozhikode: The Nava Kerala bus service that was flagged off with much fanfare has been stalled, as not a single seat was booked in the past two days. The bus that had been operating services from Kozhikode to Bengaluru didn’t run on Wednesday and Thursday as there weren’t any passengers. KSRTC said that no one had booked a seat on the bus. The service had begun in the Kozhikode – Bengaluru route from May 5 onwards. The luxury bus that was specially built for the Nava Kerala Sadas was used for the commute of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his ministers for the outreach program.
The modern air-conditioned bus has 26 pushback seats. Moreover, it has a hydraulic lift system which could be operated by the passengers themselves. The lift could be used by differently-abled passengers or old people who cannot climb the steps. Besides, a bathroom, wash basin, TV and music system and mobile charging units were arranged in the bus. However, these facilities and the high-ticket fares failed to lure passengers. It has become a matter of pride for not just the KSRTC but the government too to save the Nava Kerala bus from getting rusted in a yard. Minister KB Ganesh Kumar is likely to interfere in the matter. 

Inconvenient schedule, poorly maintained facilities
The schedule of the luxury bus was not convenient for the passengers. The bus departed from the Kozhikode bus terminal at 4 am. Even those who were staying close to the city will had to get ready by 3 to catch the bus. Meanwhile, passengers from various places in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts too had to reach the terminal quite early. Besides, the bus wasn't arriving in Bengaluru by 11.30 am, as scheduled, due to traffic blocks. The passengers said they were able to reach the destination only by noon. So, most people complained that they lost half a day.
The bus used to begin its return trip at 2.30 pm and was supposed to reach Kozhikode by 10 pm. However, the bus would reach Kozhikode only at midnight as it may get stuck in heavy traffic. Moreover, the passengers found it difficult to get transportation from there at that time. They said that it would be more convenient if the schedule was changed. If the bus departed at 6 am then they could have reached Bengaluru by evening. 

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