Kerala govt providing funds to KSRTC to help in loan repayment


PTI, Jul 14, 2022, 10:42 AM IST

The Kerala government is providing funds to the debt-ridden KSRTC towards repayment of loans availed by it and would be considering the recommendations in the Sushil Khanna report to modernise the public transportation body, state Transport Minister Antony Raju said in the Assembly on Thursday.

The minister, answering queries in the House regarding the huge losses being suffered by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), said the over Rs 3,500 crore loans of the transportation body cannot be repaid in one go and the government was helping it to recover from the same.

Towards that around Rs 420 crore have been given to KSRTC, he said.

He also said that the government was also providing funds for payment of salaries of the employees.

On queries as to whether employees were being inducted on contract in lower levels of the organisation, were operating centres or depots being closed down, were travel schedules of KSRTC being cut down, were a large number of its buses damaged due to neglect and whether a high level audit will be carried out in the entity as per Kerala High Court directions, the minister’s response was in the negative.

Raju said the Kerala High Court only made an oral observation that there should be a high level audit and never gave any specific direction for the same in its interim orders.

Moreover, a resident audit unit of the CAG was functioning in KSRTC, he added.

Answering other queries, the minister said no one was being inducted on a contract basis at the mechanic, driver or conductor level in KSRTC and the same was being done only at the administrative levels where it was permitted under the rules.

He also denied that any operating centres or depots of the transport corporation were being closed down, saying that only the number of administrative offices in these places would be cut down and the personnel will be shifted to the main headquarters.

He said schedules were cut down due to decrease in passenger movement during the COVID-19 pandemic and it was also the reason behind a large number of buses, especially AC buses, not being run.

As a result, some buses due to non-use may have had problems or stopped working, but it was not done deliberately, the minister said.

He said the Sushil Khanna report would be looked into for turning things around for KSRTC. The state had appointed IIM-Kolkata professor Sushil Khanna in 2016 to study ways to modernise KSRTC and he had given an initial report in 2017.

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