Karnataka’s road transport corporations suffer over Rs 800 cr loss amid lockdown

As road transportation has come to a virtual standstill, state-run bus corporations are reporting massive losses. The national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 appears to have had a devastating impact on the public transport system in Karnataka. The state's bus transportation corporations, one of the most well-connected systems, have posted losses amounting to hundreds of crores as buses have been kept off the roads and most public transport has ceased throughout the country.

Karnataka's four state road transport corporations together have suffered a loss of Rs 816 crore amid the COVID-19 lockdown, an official said on Wednesday. The lockdown has entered its fourth week in India and will continue until May 3. "Due to the non-operation of bus services, all the four corporations have incurred a revenue loss of Rs 816 crore," a road transportation corporation spokesperson said in a statement.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) incurred the highest loss, at Rs 315 crore. This is followed by North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) facing a loss of Rs 180 crore, and the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) which claims to have losses amounting to Rs 172 crore. The main corporation, KSRTC, caters to the state's 17 southern districts, while NWKRTC serves the six north western districts and NEKRTC caters to seven north eastern districts in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru's local bus transport system, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), posted losses amounting to Rs 149 crore. Even before the lockdown brought the transportation system to a standstill, the BMTC had faced grave financial hardships and consistent losses. In March, Karnataka Transport Minister had said that there was no plan to reduce bus fares due to the poor financial condition and hike in fuel prices.

Bengaluru has among the highest bus fares in the country. Despite the significant vehicular traffic from private vehicles that continues to leave Bengaluru congested, TNM previously reported that there has been little effort to increase the city's bus fleet or take advantage of existing routes. Read: The easy fix to Bengaluru's perennial traffic problem - the humble bus

Inputs from IANS

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