Kochi: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation is ready to operate 250 multi-axle luxury air-conditioned buses on contract basis to various destinations in the state to break the private bus monopoly in the sector.
However, the Kerala RTC has backed out of the plan under the reciprocal interstate transport agreement, citing lack of buses and settled for 50 buses post- the Kallada bashing incident.
"We've written multiple times to the Kerala RTC authorities citing our willingness to operate 250 buses on special permit in the heavy-demand sector where private luxury travellers are having a monopoly. Our counterparts have cited their inability to deploy such a large number of buses. We've the buses and are ready to operate them as and when the Kerala RTC is ready," said Mr Prasanth Gopinath Panicker, operations in-charge of Kerala sector, Karnataka RTC.
Currently, the luxury services operated by the two corporations together are few compared to that of private travellers. As per the pact recently signed, both corporations will deploy 50 luxury buses on contract basis covering a total of 4,400 km in each other's territory.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka RTC has started deploying multi-axle sleeper air-conditioned buses in the Ernakulam-Bangalore sector to take on the private operators.
"We've replaced our ordinary sleeper bus being operated in the sector with new multi-axle Volvo sleeper (Ambaari dream class). Out of the 16 new buses, two have been deployed in the route," the official said.
The routes and schedules of the new services (50 buses each) on contract basis will be decided once the Kerala RTC procures the vehicles. "The Kerala RTC has informed us that they have started the process to procure 50 multi-axle buses on lease basis. Once the vehicles are ready, we'll hold a meet to decide on routes and schedules," he said.