Crores of Loss For KSRTC as Work Delayed

Published on: 24 Oct, 2013
Published under: General Kerala News, Kozhikode District News

23 October 2013
Kozhikode

At a time when the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is cash-strapped, a nearly five-year delay to complete a multi-crore bus station-cum-shopping complex in the city has caused the public transport utility a loss of Rs. 12.5 crore and severely dented its operations in north Kerala.

Data collected by the zonal office of the KSRTC here goes into the minute details of financial loss.The foundation stone for the complex was laid on March 31, 2009. The work, by the Kerala State Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd. on a build-operate-transfer basis, was supposed to be completed in 18 months.

“Only 70 percent of the work is over so far,” a senior official with the KSRTC zonal office said.

The office is carved out of the dusty rear portion of a textile shop situated on the second floor of the Moffussil Bus Stand, a property owned by the Kozhikode Corporation where the KSRTC had to move after construction work started on their old depot premises on Mavoor Road.

A black-painted arrow scrawled on the spittle-stained wall directs one to the rickety steel staircase leading to the zonal office.

Here, the public transport body’s various departments, from vigilance to reservation enquiry counter, are partitioned by rough cardboard walls. Officials and files remain cheek-by-jowl. This office controls operations from Kasaragod to Kozhikode. But worse off are the passengers waiting for the buses.

The Kozhikode Corporation has allowed the KSRTC space to park only eight buses at the farthest end of the bus stand used for private buses. There are no shelters for KSRTC passengers. Currently, KSRTC’s workshop and administrative offices are located in Pavangad. This is a 2.43-acre land rented from the Kerala Water Authority.

“An empty bus goes all the way to park at Pavangad depot. The same empty bus returns the next morning to pick up passengers at the moffussil stand. That is a total of 16 km of empty run everyday,” Mr. Safarulla said.

Zonal office statistics shows that a single bus burns 8 litres of diesel on this to-and-fro journey to Pavangad and back. Thus, a total loss of 220 litres of diesel is caused everyday for the nearly five years.

Again, after construction work began, the fuel pump at the old Kozhikode depot at Mavoor Road was pulled down. Instead, buses had to go all the way to pumps located in high-range depots at Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta and Mananthavady in Wayanad.

Source– http://www.thehindu.com

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