The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation in Aluva is in dire straits on the issue of finding a parking lot for its vehicles to cater to the needs of Sivarathri pilgrims arriving at Aluva Manappuram.
The KSRTC’s dilemma follows the decision of the municipality to restrict the KSRTC buses from entering the municipal bus stand during the festival season.
The municipality seems to be ignoring the government order stating that buses be allowed to park at municipal bus stands during public and festival seasons.Currently, the authorities have decided to allow only five KSRTC buses at a time at the stand.
“Lakhs of pilgrims arrive from all parts of the state to attend the Manappuram Sivarathri festival. Since most of our buses won’t be allowed to park at the stand at that time, it will become impossible for us to cater to the public’s needs. Besides, it will result in huge loss for the KSRTC. We have at least 100 buses in our custody,” KSRTC officials said.
The KSRTC has been asked to park buses at its regional depot and bring buses to the stand whenever the need arises.
“The decision is against the norms that have been laid down by the government. Even we are liable to make profits during such seasons. The decision by the municipality and the police is to help the private bus sector,” officials said.
The KSRTC was paying more than `4 lakh as provincial tax to the municipality every year. The KSRTC’s five buses will be forced to compete with 350 private buses which is an impossible task.
“Even though we post our employees to alert us on the heavy rush of pilgrims who wish to go to their destinations, it will take time for us to reach the stand from the regional workshop. This will hugely affect us during night hours,” the officials said.
Meanwhile, Aluva SP S Sathish said that initially it was decided not to allow any KSRTC bus to park in Corporation stands owing to lack of space, later five buses were allowed at a time. “Talks have been held in this regard and the decision stands owing to the paucity of space at the stand,” the SP said.