Fund crunch forces Kerala to withdraw 1,800 buses

Unable to find money for footing the zooming oil bill, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which has been put on a bumpier road by the policy of oil companies, is planning to withdraw over 1,800 buses from its  total fleet of 5,750.

KSRTC has written to the government seeking permission to implement its decision. Corporation sources said it is planning to stop operations on the routes which don’t generate a daily collection of Rs 10,000 and nearly 30 per cent of the KSRTC’s buses are deployed in these loss-making routes.

To reduce the consumption of diesel, in the last few days, the corporation has withdrawn 100 buses from its services.

Besides, nearly 500 buses operated exclusively for the Ayyappa devotees have been sent to its various regional workshops with the culmination of the season and they will not be used in regular services in near future, said K T Irshad, KSRTC’s executive director (operations).   

With the oil companies’ decision that their bulk diesel consumers should pay market price, the corporation has to shell out an additional Rs 11.50 for every litre of diesel it consumes as the open market price of the fuel is Rs 60.25 a litre.

This will impose an addition burden of Rs 50 lakh every day on the already loss-making corporation.

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