KOCHI: Launched a month ago, the much-hyped KSRTC services from the Ernakulam depot to Kakkanad via Cheranelloor and Kattapana via Muvattupuzha have hit a roadblock due to lack of drivers.
According to Hibi Eden MLA, who had flagged off these services last month, KSRTC decided to withdrew them as it lacked drivers to run the newly-launched buses on Cheranelloor and Muvattupuzha routes. In addition, KSRTC is facing shortage of buses in the depot and it added on to the pressure to withdraw services.
“The bus connecting Ernakulam with Kakkanad via Muvattupuzha was cancelled as it met with an accident three weeks ago at Thiruvalla, where it was scheduled to run for a day. There are no spare buses in the Ernakulam depot to replace the damaged one. Unless, we receive new buses from Thiruvananthapuram, nothing can be done to resolve the problem,” said the KSRTC Ernakulam depot official. As the problem was brought to the attention of the Union Minister of State K V Thomas and the District Transport Officer (DTO), in a meeting held here last week, the DTO informed that efforts to resume the services are on their way.
Hibi Eden said, “These services were started in response to the huge public demand for KSRTC buses in those areas. It was the first time that the KSRTC buses were running through either Cheranelloor or Muvattupuzha. Also, few private buses ply through these areas. Our immediate demand is to restart KSRTC services as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, the sources also allege lack of interest and cooperation exhibited by the supervisors as one of the reasons for the withdrawal of the services.
However, the KSRTC officials blame the MLAs and MPs for constantly demanding new services to their respective constituencies. “Every time they make a demand, we are forced to bow down to the political pressure. Mostly, we end up starting services only to withdraw them later due to various issues,” the KSRTC official added.