Bangalore, Aug 6: The pro and anti Telangana protests has affected the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation's (KSRTC). Paralyzed and running at a loss of lakhs of rupees everyday, the state transport hold the protests across Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra responsible.
Sources reveal that the department is running at a loss of RS 40 Lakh everyday. With dwindling tourists and pilgrims to the neighboring state, KSRTC is unwiliing to ply to several places in Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, there is fear of loss of property as stoning and torching of vehicles is rampant.
A senior KSRTC official confirms, "The hi-tech services to Hyderabad, Tirupati, Vishakapatnam and other major cities have been withdrawn as people have been stoning and torching vehicles. We cannot afford to ply these buses to troubled areas. And not many are willing to travel because of intense protests."
KSRTC managing director N Manjunatha Prasad, confirming about the losses, says: "Every day we are incurring loss to the tune of Rs 40 lakh because of protests against Telangana. Since July 31 we have incurred losses to the tune of more than Rs 2 crore. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for things to calm down. Thereafter, we will decide whether or not to operate buses to Andhra Pradesh."
Security reasons also form an important reason why the KSRTC are thinking twice before plying buses to Andhra Pradesh. B N S Reddy, vigilance and security officer, KSRTC said, "Our foremost concern is the safety of passengers and our properties, including buses and personnel. It is difficult to operate under the circumstances."
While the above-mentioned is just one reason, the department has another reason to worry about. Incessant rains in the Malnad and coastal areas of Karnataka have added to the loss. While these are the most profitable routes for KSRTC, with buses running to their full capacity during the weekend, heavy rainfall witness empty bus stands and buses.