Mangaluru, Aug 14, 2017: Figures show that Mangaluru division of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has suffered a loss of Rs. 21.21 crore during 2016-17.
Balehonnur-based activist Shankaranarayana Bhat, who availed the details under the Right To Information Act, alleged that slack in administration as well as illegal operations by private bus operators appear to be the reasons behind the loss.
Activist Bhat told media there is no discipline in the operation of KSRTC services with erratic timings inconvenient to passengers. Many of the coaches are not maintained properly thereby dissuading passengers from availing KSRTC services.
On the other hand, the Transport Department has miserably failed to curb illegal operations by private operators, who operate tourist buses on long, nationalised routes, including to Bengaluru and Hubballi. This has severely affected KSRTC earnings. Denying that there had been any slack in administration, KSRTC sources attributed the loss to two major factors — increased cost of operation owing to hike in wages of employees as well as high cost of diesel and illegal operation by private operators.
Sources said private tourist buses ply as stage carriages picking up and dropping passengers from Kundapur, Udupi and Mangaluru to Bengaluru and other destinations. Thus, KSRTC’s premium services, including multi-axle air-conditioned services as well as Rajahamsa services, are affected. Though private buses are banned from picking up passengers in the vicinity of KSRTC bus stations, operators openly flout the ban, sources said.
At the same time, over 40 private contract carriage services illegally operate into the city from places like Puttur, Belthangady, Kalladka etc., affecting KSRTC revenues. Repeated complaints, even with video clippings as evidence, to the police and the Transport Department officials have been of no use, sources lamented.
The loss is partially on account of newly introduced city buses in Mangaluru and Udupi since a year, sources said. Though the coaches were funded by the Union and State governments, KSRTC has to bear the cost of operation. Some more time is required for stabilisation of operations, they said.
While the cost of operation per km (CPKM) is about Rs. 35, the earnings per km (EPKM) is about Rs. 33 for the Division. During the slack season of June-July, the EPKM has gone down to Rs. 26, sources added.