The employees of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation launched agitations here on Friday against the Central Government’s decision to hike the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre.
According to the unions, the decision will hugely affect the KSRTC sector especially in the state which spends Rs 1 crore 75 lakh on a daily basis.
“An ordinary KSRTC bus runs an average distance of 75 km every day. Fast and superfast buses cover an average distance of 110-130 km throughout the state. The KSRTC sector which is already running on huge losses will face the brunt of the price hike as the sector has no means to compensate the rate. We are calling on the Central Government to call off the hike. As part of our protests, we will also withdraw all work at the KSRTC depots,” said KSRTEA, Ernakulam, general secretary T K Venu.
Meanwhile, officials with the KSRTC Ernakulam depot said that with the hike in the diesel rates, the rates of the spare parts and other products will also increase. “Grease, oil and spare parts are already high priced and the prices are expected to increase further. This is unnecessary burden which can only be brought down with the intervention of the state government,” said Ernakulam ATO Venugopal.
The Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation too expressed their disgust over the decision to hike the prices of diesel. General secretary Lawrence Babu said that they would launch a strike after two weeks if the government does not withdraw the decision.
“We will hold a meeting on Monday and bring our notification to the government. If they fail to meet our demands, we will hold a strike after 10 days,” he said.