Kochi: The heavy traffic jams on a daily basis at places like Kutiran in Thrissur and Kundannoor in Ernak-ulam have taken a toll on luxury inter-state services of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) this festive season.
While the congestion has resulted in buses running two to three hours behind schedule on most days, the same has left commuters an unhappy lot as the corporation received a barrage of complaints through its social media cell.
“The passengers were mostly upset over the vehicles getting trapped in traffic jam at Kundannoor Junction and the subsequent delay. Often the commuters who have booked tickets online were forced to wait for two to three hours in the night. We too are helpless,” said P.M. Sharaf Muhammed, executive director (Operations).
The authorities are hopeful of a change in the situation with the PWD authorities finally laying inter-lock tiles at the busy junction along the NH-66 that started reducing waiting time of vehicles along the route.
“What’s adding to our woes is the lack of basic passenger amenities at bus stations like Erna-kulam. I was travelling to Mysore and my bus got late by two hours and finally arrived by 12.30 am instead of right time 10.30 pm. While the waiting room was untidy with wastes strewn all around, the refreshment room was filthy,” said Joby George, an Ernakulam native.
The drivers of inter-state buses too are at receiving end, being forced to have minimum resting period and struggling to stick to scheduled times. “Another spot is Kutiran where traffic congestion is happening on a daily basis. Many services are diverted via long route Shornur to escape the block upon getting alerted by drivers of other buses,” said a driver of a Bangalore multi-axle service.
Meanwhile, there are charges that the tatkal scheme being implemented in select buses this Onam have failed miserably.
“While people are running from pillar to post to travel to home this Onam, the KSRTC buses with the scheme are operating with eight to 10 seats vacant. This due to a flaw in online reservation site. While tatkal seats can be booked 24 hours prior to journey, the reservation site won’t show the option unless others seats are booked full, may be an hour before the journey starts,” said Arun Madhav, a techie who travelled to his native Thrissur.
When asked, the senior KSRTC official said the corporation would look into the issue and correct the technical flaw....