WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Debt-ridden KSRTC to host BEVCO outlets

Kochi: Good news for tipplers as the cash strapped Left government is now all set to sell liquor through depots operated by pauper state owned KSRTC. This would not only draw more people to KSRTC depots but also lure them into using KSRTC to travel to their destinations.  

A win-win situation for the government which can fill up its depleted coffers and also help the ailing KSRTC come out of the debt trap it has been in for several years now. Transport minister Antony Raju was upbeat, making public the decision to let out KSRTC outlets that lay vacant in their complexes set in different districts by availing of huge loans.

At the same time he warned staff of the state corporation against using the liquor outlets while on duty. He justified the move stating that there was a shortage of liquor outlets leading to many people grouping up before existing outlets. The KSRTC gathered courage to put forth the suggestion in the   wake of the Kerala High Court expressing concern over a large crowd gathering in front of liquor outlets.

Congress which was in favour of making the state free of liquor is busy settling its house in order after leaders crossed swords for clipping their wings by new party managers in the state. BJP has not made its position clear on the matter. Youth Congress has made it clear that they would oppose the decision to open BEVCO outlets at KSRTC terminals citing that public places used by women and children could not be used to sell liquor. YC leaders said that the LDF government which came to power in 2016 had vowed to bring down the consumption of alcohol in the state.  

 The KSRTC has constructed many complexes, taking huge loans out of which some have been completed and others incomplete. Those completed are struggling to find takers for the space in complexes. The new one is at Kozhikode having a built up area of over 4 lakh sq.ft on a 3.22-acre plot built at a cost of Rs 74.63 crore. The project is under the control of Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation. KSRTC’s liability is over Rs 3371.42 crores with 63 out of 93 depots mortgaged with financial institutions. The transport company makes a daily loss of Rs1.70 crore while the salary bill is Rs 55 crore. 

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