KSRTC not to start long-distance services

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The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has revoked its decision to resume long-distance inter-district bus services in the wake of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the State.

The earlier plan was to resume such services from Saturday considering the struggle of passengers and the already declared strike by private bus operators. Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran told reporters here on Friday that the proposal was reconsidered during his meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The suggestions made by a high-level committee comprising Health Department officials too were considered while deciding not to resume the services, he said.

Safety issues

Mr. Saseendran said the KSRTC took the decision to resume about 206 long-distance services to meet passenger needs and further open the public transport mode in the State. Considering safety issues, there were no plans to permit stops in containment zones. The Minister asked the private bus operators to review their decision to go ahead with the indefinite strike from August 1. He said they had already been granted the required two-month extension to remit vehicle tax. However, the private bus operators decided to stick to their decision not to operate services from Saturday by submitting Form G to the Regional Transport Officer in support of their demands.

KSRTC Managing Director Biju Prabhakar said in Thiruvananthapuram that the reversal of the government decision was in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases. KSRTC’s Anayara bus depot was spruced up for the services. The KSRTC had even come up with a traffic plan for the buses coming via NH 66 and MC Road and feeder services from Anayara to East Fort for commuters.

(With inputs from Thiruvananthapuram bureau)

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