A group of nearly 20 Corporation ward councillors on Tuesday gheraoed K M Irshad, executive director (operations), KSRTC, at Transport Bhavan in the city for more than two hours. The gherao was a continuation of the protest staged by the Mayor and Corporation councillors on Monday at the KSRTC Central bus station against running air-conditioned low-floor buses on inter-district routes.
“We are not against running the inter-district services as there are a lot many people who ply between the districts on a daily basis. But before deciding the route to Ernakulam or increasing the fares, the KSRTC had not discussed with the civic body. The whopping fare cannot be justified,” said Corporation works standing committee chairman V S Padmakumar, who was among the protesters. He also alleged that the fares of AC low-floor buses were increased in a move to reduce the financial loss incurred by running other non-profit KSRTC buses.
But the KSRTC official said that the decision to run inter-district services was jointly taken by the Urban Affairs Ministry and the Transport Ministry. The AC low-floor buses which were running on a loss were thus taken for inter-district trips. The gherao was called off following the Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed giving an assurance to Mayor K Chandrika on convening a meeting within two days to discuss the matter.