Kochi: The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)’s bid to deploy luxury buses on inter-state routes on wet-lease basis has received a set back with no takers coming forward for its tenders despite multiple attempts.
“We’ve floated tenders twice,” said a senior KSRTC official in charge of operations. “When no one turned up in the first instance, we reissued the tender after amending the terms of contract. The contract period was extended from three months to one year to make it more lucrative. Still there was no response. Now we’ve extended the bid submission date to August 5.”
The corporation was aiming to deploy 50 premium class multi-axle AC diesel-fuelled buses on long-haul routes, so far monopolised by private contract carriage operators, on a point-to point basis (contract carriage). While the first bid submission date ended on May 9, the second was closed on July 8.
According to sources, the decision by the contract carriage operators’ groups has led to the situation. “It’s rare such tenders are not getting even a single bid. We suspect a deliberate bid,” the official said.
The Kerala RTC and the Karnataka RTC earlier inked pact to operate 100 luxury buses, 50 reach, in popular routes in each other’s territory but the former did not have fleet to operate additional services, forcing it to go for wet-lease basis mode.
The initiative came in the wake of instances when passengers travelling in private luxury buses were attacked.
“We’d also plan to operate such services to destinations like Puducherry or Mysore based on demand. The whole aim was to alleviate travelling woes of inter-state passengers,” the official added....