Kozhikode, July 31 (PTI) Long-distance inter-district bus services of the state-owned KSRTC will resume in Kerala from Saturday in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, over four months after being suspended due to the national lockdown.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)will start operating at least 206 buses on various routes but there would be no inter-state services for the time being, Transport Minister A K Saseendran told reporters here.
Buses would also be not operated from or to places coming under COVID-19 containment zones, he added.
KSRTC's long route buses remained off the roads since the pandemic-induced lockdown began on March 25.
Incidentally, the private bus operators in the state have decided to withdraw services from Saturday citing among other things non-feasibility due to poor patronage in the crisis- stricken period.
Saseendran said lack of proper facilities and lesser number of bus services has made people depend on two-wheelers or other modes of transport and this will invariably lead to a natural shrinkage in city services in future.
The change in the attitude of people to live without depending on public transport would hit both private operators as well as the KSRTC, he said.
Several people were reluctant to board a public transport bus and the operations had been severely hit, resulting in huge financial losses, he said.
Taking into consideration these issues, the government has relaxed many norms, including extension of tax payment to two months, for private buses, the Minister said.
However, KSRTC would operate services despite suffering loss as to serve the people who wanted to travel between districts for various reasons.
The Minister said the ticket fare would be the same as it existed before the lockdown. PTI Corr UD VS VS