As a part of Kerala government's "100 days, 100 programmes" initiative, the Kerala Road Transport Corporation RTC) has begun a parcel service, similar to the Indian Railways to tide over the losses suffered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from the increasing COVID-19 cases, a rise in the price of diesel and spare parts have put additional strain on the state's transport corporation. This has resulted in kick-starting "KSRTC Logistics".
The main objective behind this is to increase the revenue of the undertaking, apart from ticket sales. With this initiative, modified vehicles of Kerala RTC will be used for transporting letters and parcels of various government departments, public sector units, constitutional bodies and even private institutions.
Although it has not begun operating officially, the State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) has announced that it will be availing the services of KSRTC for the transportation of COVID-19 food kits. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed this on Monday. He said that the first service of the project will be renting a few of the buses to Supplyco on a monthly basis for the shipment of emergency food kits to all ration cardholders across the state.
According to the sources, Kerala RTC, Supplyco will be provided with five buses for a monthly rent of ₹1,25,000. These buses will be provided for a maximum of 2,500 kilometres.
The General Secretary of the Kerala State Transport Employees Union (KSTEU), MG Rahul said that although this project may not ensure a sudden profit for the undertaking it will help in easing some of the strain.
He also shared that ever since the lockdown was lifted and the services resumed almost two months ago, the corporation has not been able to obtain a revenue of more than ₹1.57 crore per day. With the revenue losses faced by Kerala RTC amid the lockdown, the parcel services might help them to ease the burden of financial loss.
Kerala RTC also stated that discussions are in process for the transportation and distribution of examination question papers and answer scripts of Kerala Public Service Commission and various universities across the state, with the help of GPS-enabled vehicles. Apart from this, there is also a proposal to carry medicals from Kerala Medical Service Corporation to the various hospitals in the state.