Used buses fetch only a car's price; owners in crisis
Thrissur: As the COVID times extended further, second hand buses are fetching the price of a car only. Hundreds of buses are put up for sale. Seeing the situation of the owners, buses were sold for merely Rs 2 lakh after bargaining in some cases. However, there are no buyers despite the cheap rate.
Kerala State Private Bus Operator's Federation state president M P Sathyan said that 60 buses were sold in the state in August alone. A bus that has validity to conduct service for one more year within the city limits was sold for Rs 1.25 lakh, said M K Baburaj, president of Kerala Private Bus Owners Youth Federation.
Most of the buses that were sold fetched less than Rs 5 lakh. The owners are selling only buses and keep the permits expecting good price after the bus services are restored. They had asked for about Rs 40 lakh for permit on Thrissur-Kozhikode route.
Majority of the buses were not conducting service for 6 months due to very few number of passengers. The owners are already facing huge loss from purchasing fuel, tyre and spare parts. Normally, two months are given for paying the price of these items. When the merchants demanded money, the bus owners were left with no choice but to sell the buses.
Tyre, engine and battery of the parked buses are gradually getting damaged. They have to spend a huge sum for repairing it. The companies that have more than one bus are purchasing the second hand buses. Those which have conducted service for 15 years cannot run in city limits. They should be shifted outside the city.
Companies purchase buses to replace the old buses and to conduct service outside the city limits. Educational institutions, large scale textile and jewellery showrooms and hospitals also buy second hand buses for internal purpose.