KSRTC is running at a whopping loss of Rs 55 crore per month, Transport and Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed told the Assembly on Thursday.
An amount of Rs 40 crore was needed for payment of salaries of staff and another Rs 30 crore will have to be found for payment of pension benefits, he said, while responding to a calling attention motion moved by former Minister Elamaram Kareem.
Unless there was sufficient funding from the government, the service sector boosted through the operations of KSRTC in the state will face a severe crisis.
Under the present circumstances, the KSRTC can think of adding new services on nationalised routes on a priority basis, he said.
The minister said that though there was higher budgetary support for KSRTC this year, this was grossly inadequate to overcome the quantum of losses.
Kareem said that the government should provide at least Rs 400 crore to save the corporation.
The minister did not agree with Kareem’s stand that many services are being cancelled due to paucity of fuel and shortage of spare parts.
‘’For payment of diesel bill, the corpus of Rs 1.76 crore had been raised to Rs 1.87 crore,’’ he said.
Aryadan said that though 600 new chassis have been purchased, the Corporation was only able to build bodies for 300 buses so far.
‘’A drive has been launched to complete the body-building works for the rest by September this year,’’ he said. Kareem said that the former LDF government had treated the KSRTC very well and ensured that around 1,000 buses were released every year for three years during its tenure.
The KSRTC is operating only 4,500 schedules with a total of 5,673 buses. In its fleet, 700 buses are more than 15 years old, he said.
“The daily loss of KSRTC stands at Rs 85 lakh. A total restructuring on a scientific basis and doing away with practices like sanctioning schedules out of political considerations and other recommendations are imperative for the survival of the corporation,’’ he said.