KOCHI:Kochi Metro Rail Limited’s move to bring the private buses operating within the city limits under one roof has ended in a deadlock with the operators alleging that there are many points regarding the formation of the company which are not clear. This has got these operators back-pedaling at a fast rate. The ‘Express’ on the other day had reported that KMRL officials were persuading the private buses to register as a company as part of its aim to integrate the public transport system under a single roof. As a step towards this KMRL has also planned to introduce a common ticketing system under the aegis of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). The Metro officials had said that the move will inspire the private buses to function in an unified manner as opposite to the present situation wherein they often find themselves at opposite poles and indulge in brawls over trips.
Meanwhile, private bus operators allege that the meeting they had with the Metro officials further confused them due to inaccuracies in the plan. “We are still groping in the dark about the proposal. The officials remain tightlipped on questions like who will be in charge of the company, who will be on the director board, article of association and others,” said M B Sathyan, president, Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation.
According to him, the procedures of forming a company is something which is very cumbersome and clarity is needed in even minute aspects. We were yet to know if the government will lend us support. A big example, about how the concept of forming a company has backfired, lies before us. KSRTC, which a company, is for the past several years struggling desperately in a web of financial crisis. We fear that the same fate awaits us, said Sathyan.
On the other hand, it is being said that a consensus has been reached with four of the main private bus associations, which are Ernakulam District Private Bus Owners’ Confederation, Private Bus Owners Organization, Kerala Bus Transport Association and Private Bus Owners Forum, regarding the formation of a company on their own since they find it difficult to along the proposal set before them by the KMRL. According to them talks in this regard are going on.
On Reverse Gear
■ KMRL officials persuade private buses operators to register as a company
■ Move part of integrating the public transport system under a single roof.
■ KMRL planned to introduce a common ticketing system under the aegis of UMTA
■ Move will put a stop to the road rage and hence, brawls over trips
■ Who will be in charge of the company
■ Who will be on the director board, article of association and others
■ Operators fear that the company thus formed will have the same fate as that of the KSRTCApparently, a consensus has been reached with four of the main private bus associations regarding the formation of a company on their own
■ Talks are on this regard are going on