Agitation costs KSRTC Rs 1 cr a day

The State-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has been incurring a loss of about Rs one crore everyday due to protests over the Cauvery river water sharing issue, Transport Minister R Ashoka said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, he said the Corporation has reported a revenue loss of Rs 10 crore in the last 10 days – ever since the State started releasing 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu as per the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) order. Besides, the Corporation incurred about Rs six crore revenue loss on the Karnataka bandh day on October 6, he added. The worst hit, Ashoka said, is the Bangalore-Mysore route. The KSRTC is registering a loss of about Rs 30 lakh per day on this route alone. The angry farmers in Mandya district had completely blocked the Bangalore-Mysore State highway, protesting the release of water.

According to KSRTC Managing Director N Manjunatha Prasad, all routes that are linked to Mysore have been affected.  People are apprehensive of travelling to Mysore. Though buses are plying on alternative routes, the occupancy rate is very poor, leading to loss, he explained.

About 400 buses operate everyday on the Bangalore-Mysore route. Due to the protests, the Corporation has been plying only about 100 buses per day. The buses are reaching Mysore
via Kanakapura and Malavalli. The detour has added to the loss, he said.

However, the bus service between Bangalore and various destinations in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, has not been affected, he added.

Further, Ashoka, who is also the Home Minister, said the government has decided not to take any action against the protesters as long as they protest peacefully.

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