Kerala all set to revamp 'punctured' KSRTC

Written by: IANS
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Thiruvananthapuram, June 4: Kerala Chief Minister Oomnen Chandy Wednesday said the state government was prepared to take over the burden of salaries and pensions of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) but made it clear that its functioning would have to be revamped.

"KSRTC cannot function the way it is presently being run and if the state government has to take over the pension and salary, there has to be a complete overhaul of the system. And for that, the employees have to cooperate," Chandy told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

KSRTC was established by the Kerala government by March 15, 1965, and today it has 6,143 buses with a daily collection of Rs.5.17 crore. But is in such a stage that every month the state government has to bail it out with financial assistance to pay the salaries of around 37,000 permanent staff and pensions to an equal number.

"We are very much aware of the role that the KSRTC plays as a public utility meant to provide succour to the ordinary people of the state, but this cannot go on further in this manner with the state government every time pumping in funds to pay salaries and pensions," Chandy said.

"On Monday, we are again meeting and we will come out with certain recommendations and we wish that the employees cooperate. We assure them there is not going to be any cutting down of salaries or jobs. We will come out with recommendations on how this can be run," said Chandy.

With the KSRTC surviving over the years on borrowed funds from financial institutions and help from the state government, the situation is such that it now finds it difficult to even borrow from institutions as it has crossed all its limits.


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