Transport Sector ParalysisPosted: April 3, 2011
The transport sector in Kerala is facing a deep crisis. While the number of motor vehicles has increased from 41 lakhs in 2006 to 54 lakhs in 2010, and the number of KSRTC buses has increased from 4687 to 5402 during the same period, the road length under the Public Works Department has actually come down from 28,203 Km to 23,242 Km. The number of Government operated boats stood at 81 in 2006. In 2010 it is still 81.
As on 31.3.2010 there were 148 unsafe bridges and 1519 unsafe culverts. Has any one measured the accident potential? Why has the ‘people-friendly’ LDF Government not raised a finger to repair or rebuild these?
In 2010, road accidents killed 2994 persons and injured 31,042. Of a total of 26,535 accidents, as many as 25,889 have been classified as occurring due to “fault of the driver”. 27% of the accidents occurred at night whereas 73% occurred during the day.
KSTRC’s Operational Statistics reveal some interesting facts. The Corporation made losses to the extent of 183 cores in 2009-2010. The highest earnings per vehicle per day was Rs.14,647 recorded by Trivandrum Central. In neighbouring Peroorkada, the daily earning was only Rs. 4875, though there are an equal number of buses. The same is the case with nearby Pappanamcode (Rs.4668), Vikas Bhavan (Rs.5264) and Venjaramoodu (Rs.5390). This is the disturbing picture of Trivandrum city and suburbs. In the Pappanamcode sector, which has recorded the lowest earnings in the State there are 113 buses plying, whereas in the entire district of Kasargod there are only 116 buses (earnings Rs. 7158).
The second highest earning per vehicle was recorded by Palakkad (Rs.10,419), followed by Ernakulam (Rs. 9265), Kozhikode (Rs.8808), Malappuram (Rs.8804), and Thrissur (Rs.8788).
What do these statistics show? Are some of the routes unprofitable? Or is there some deeper malaise? If we analyse the water transport, inland navigation, shipping and air transport details we will find anomalies everywhere.
Mobility and transportation are the keys to economic development. I dream of a Kerala with express highways spanning its entire length, airports in every district, metro-rails and monorails in every town, subways and flyovers wherever there is traffic congestion, and of course zero accidents. I also dream of a day when KSRTC will make profits and wipe out its accumulated losses.