Representational image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The private buses (contract carriages) which ply illegally on roads, including nationalised routes, are causing a monthly revenue loss of Rs 30 crore for the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Reportedly, around 100 private buses run at night, and each one has an average revenue of Rs 30,000.
The ticket sales of these contract carriages are carried out via online booking and agencies. Apparently, their agents cajole passengers standing inside KSRTC bus depots and make them opt for private buses. However, as per norms, not even recognised agencies are allowed to operate within 500 metres of KSRTC depots.
Although these contract carriages are permitted to carry passengers only in groups, most of these buses board passengers midway and charge tickets. Even though these luxury buses are organising illegal trips on interstate highways, KSRTC is unable to arrange an alternative due to the complicated permit system.
Meanwhile, KSRTC and SWIFT can run long distance services on any route within the state. As per the rules, only KSRTC is allowed to run long distance services within the state. Private buses are not permitted on nationalised roads.