Thiruvanananthapuram: Private bus operations have fallen on evil days and many owners are surrendering their permits due to the prohibitive cost of running the vehicles.
This has come about due to a host of factors, including the hike in fuel prices, tyres and spare parts, motor vehicle tax, insurance, wage bills, 12.5 percent concession to students and minimum fare of Rs 8.
Though the state government on Friday decided to extend the period of permit to 20 years from the current 15 to appease them, many submitted applications to stop operations from September 30.
The number of private buses on the road had come down from 34,000 in 2011 to 12,500 by September this year. Those operating single buses are the hardest hit.
The permits of many of them were to end on September 30, but the government wanted them to continue services and extended the permit period. However, it is not clear how many operators would go back on their decision to stop the services.
The last date for submitting Form G to continue operations is September 30, said Mr Lawrence Babu, general secretary, Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation.
However, during a meeting of the regional transport authority in Kollam on September 25, the owners of 14 buses submitted applications to surrender permits, said Mr Babu. “About 40 percent of the bus owners will not extend their permits,” he said.