Kerala Transport Minister Ganesh plans to spruce up KSRTC by tightening finances

He also plans to approach the chief minister with a new public transport system model.
KSRTC Buses. (Photo  | Vinod Kumar T)
KSRTC Buses. (Photo | Vinod Kumar T)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After taking charge as transport minister on Wednesday, K B Ganesh Kumar reiterated his position about the need to tighten the finances in KSRTC. His repeated concerns over the expenses in KSRTC point to less-than-desirable financial accountability in an organisation that has been heavily supported with public money.

The second Pinarayi Vijayan government gave over Rs 4,963.22 crore to KSRTC. In the previous five years, KSRTC received Rs 4,936 crore under the LDF government. So far the government has given over Rs 9,899 crore in the last seven-and-a-half years.

“The top leaders of trade unions told me about the revenue diversions. I was an outsider, just a MLA who did not meddle in the affairs of KSRTC so far. So I made an inquiry and found that the charges were true,” said Ganesh Kumar.

He said it was like the economics of a stationery store where there is no point in increasing revenue when you cannot control the rise in expenses.The trade unions have demanded why the KSRTC was not able to pay the salaries on time despite making record revenue collection.

Ganesh, however, said that his statements were misquoted earlier to construe that he was talking against his predecessor, Antony Raju. Like his predecessor, the new transport minister also said that all loss-making trips shall be curtailed. But he told people’s representatives that their apprehensions regarding this will be taken into account.

“If the trip is making losses due to the schedule, we will change the schedule. If KSRTC service was a lone service in the area or the hinterlands we will not stop it,” said Ganesh. He also plans to approach the chief minister with a new public transport system model.

Ganesh’s priorities

  • Scrutinise KSRTC’s expenses
  • Curtail all loss-making trips
  • Classify hotels for providing hygienic stopovers for long-distance passengers
  • Provide clean bus stations, toilets
  • Safe place for women in bus stations, feeding rooms
  • Avail CSR funds for improving public amenities
  • Develop a new public transport model

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