THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Inadequate and ineffective KSRTC bus services has made life difficult for people, especially for labourers, students and fish-sellers, living on the southern side of the district. “Many ordinary bus services that operated from Poovar and Vizhinjam depots have been converted to fast passengers or superfast services. How do you expect students to travel in these buses availing concession,” Kovalam MLA, M Vincent, asked during the assembly session on Wednesday.
According to him the students from the area were forced to hire an autorickshaw for two kilometers to catch ordinary bus from highway. The MLA said some of the stay-bus services on which lot of people depended were either stopped or converted into regular service. The day bus services do not operate as per the schedule and students are unable to reach school or return home on time, he told Express.
“Stopping a stay-bus service creates a lot of problem for people who solely depend on it. The farm hands going to Venganur, passengers taking morning train, labourers working in Attingal are all affected,” said Vincent.
He said he took up the issue with the Transport minister after a lot of residents’ associations complained about KSRTC services. According to him, Mangalathukonam - AK Nagar service, Athmabodhini stay service, Kalliyur- arapalam-Neyyatinkara service, Pappanamcode- Nellivila stay services were stopped recently. Vizhinjam - Payattuvila - Payattuvila and Pappanamcode- Payattuvila services have been irregular.
Transport minister A K Saseendran, however, defended the measures taken by KSRTC. “Some of the services were stopped either due to crew shortage or low collection.” he said. Vincent says it was important for KSRTC to retain the services considering the people travelling in the night to remote locations. “If they operate the service regularly and on time there will be lot of passengers,” said Vincent.
The unit head of KSRTC in Poovar, S Muhammed Basheer said he was not familiar with the schedules operating from the depot. KG Saiju, the unit head of Vizhinjam depot, said all services which were affected earlier due to staff shortage had been restored. The last stay service reaches the depot at 11 pm and the last bus to the depot was fast passenger service from Thrissur at 2 am, he said. An employee of KSRTC who did not wish to be named said crew was not interested in stay service as the night allowance was a meagre `15.