KSRTC should buy or lease e-buses, instead of privatising them: Unions
“A private operator gets a subsidy of Rs 88 lakh for every e-bus. They get Rs 10 lakh subsidy to set up charging stations. KSRTC will provide the land and offer other resources.
Published: 16th January 2023 09:06 AM | Last Updated: 16th January 2023 09:06 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: While the the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s e-buses commenced commercial operations on Monday, KSRTC employee associations say that this is a prelude to privatising the entire corporation, which should be opposed. They request the government to either buy or take the buses on lease, instead of completely privatising the operations.
“A private operator gets a subsidy of Rs 88 lakh for every e-bus. They get Rs 10 lakh subsidy to set up charging stations. KSRTC will provide the land and offer other resources. Taking all these benefits, private players will rake the moolah,” said Anand, who is joint secretary of Karnataka Rajya Raste Sarige Naukarara Okkutta.
While the assets of all four transport corporations (KSRTC, BMTC, NWKSRT and KKRTC) can cross Rs 1 lakh crore, the decision to permit private players to operate the buses, citing there is no money with KSRTC is nothing but the first major step toward privatisation, he claimed.
“Even if there are few people, KSRTC will run its buses. However, we cannot expect the same from private players. We cannot expect the private service to be people-friendly,” Anand felt.
Transport activist H V Anantha Subbarao, who is also the president of KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation (affiliated to AITUC), said, “We are not against the introduction of e-buses, but to the privatisation of KSRTC.”
Instead of buying or leasing the buses, it has privatised the entire operation. As the transport corporation is experimenting with e-buses, it should have restricted to allowing 10 e-buses, instead of permitting 50 buses at one go on a contract for 12 years, Subbarao said.
“KSRTC is a passenger-based industry, the likes and dislikes of people must be collected after running some buses, before increasing the numbers,” he insisted. A top KSRTC official said, “For now, the private operator will run 50 e-buses on Gross Cost Contract. We will observe how the buses are doing and explore the options of leasing the buses.”