KOCHI: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday inaugurated the Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC)’s base unit at Thevara here.
On the occasion, Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan inaugurated the service of a fleet of 58 low-floor (50 AC and eight non-AC) buses.
The State Government had drawn flak from the Central Government for not floating a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ to manage the low-floor buses procured using the Centre’s JNNURM funds.Though the Centre’s mandate for the JNNURM-funded buses was to ‘cater to commuters within the city’, the KSRTC later extended the service to the other parts of the State by forming the KURTC - a decision that was challenged by Mayor Tony Chammany.
“In the discussions held for setting up of the KURTC, the civic administrators were not included. The CM called me before the inauguration and assured that my grievances would be addressed,” Chammany told ‘Express’.
The KSRTC plans to operate all city-based AC and non-AC low-floor buses (JNNURM) from the Thevara depot. The new bus stand, work on which began three years ago, has a three-way garage, station master’s cabin, administrative offices and restroom for employees.
The first service from the Thevara depot will be to Nedumbassery.
Speaking on the occasion, both Ommen Chandy and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that representatives of the local body would be given a pivotal role in the running of the KURTC services.