World | India

Kerala state buses face bleak future

Federal government’s decision to cut back on subsidies on diesel for bulk customers main cause

  • By Akhel Mathew, Correspondent
  • Published: 18:35 January 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the popular public road transport utility in the southern state of Kerala, is facing a bleak future following the federal government’s decision to cut back on subsidies on diesel for bulk customers.

State Transport Minister Aryadan MohammAd said there was no immediate plan to hike bus fares in the backdrop of the news of subsidy cut by the federal government, but indicated that the KSRTC would be in serious trouble and that public transport in the state could face a chaotic situation.

The red-and-cream KSRTC buses are omnipresent across the state’s road network and are the mainstay of the common man for road transport. But the corporation has been weighed down by financial troubles, a significant part of which is contributed by the burden of pension payments for its thousands of retired staff members.

Mohammad said that about 100 buses may have to be taken off service in the backdrop of the diesel price hike announcement. The corporation is running a loss of Rs 9 billion, and an increase of over Rs 11 per litre caused by the federal government’s decision will make the corporation’s future prospects dim.

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