Karnataka to launch cargo services through its buses: Deputy CM

In a bid to tide over the revenue loss due to the drop in passengers amid Covid-19, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will formally launch a parcel and cargo service named ‘Namma Cargo’ (Our Cargo) from Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Lakshman Savadi said.

Addressing a press conference here, Savadi, who holds the transport portfolio, said: “We are starting this new service to increase our revenue. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will launch this service on Friday at the grand steps of the Vidhana Soudha here.”

According to him, the three State Road Transport Corporations have been generating Rs 35 crore revenue by transporting luggage but now with launch of the new service, they are likely to generate an approximate revenue of Rs 70-80 crore.

Namma Cargo will be operated through the Strategic Outsourcing Private Ltd for next five years in three transport corporations – the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC).

“Strategic Outsourcing will provide the basic infrastructure. Our transport corporations will be providing them the space to set up parcel counters at various facilities like bus stations,” Savadi said.

He added that customers will have to book their parcel at the booking counter at the bus stands like they do for their tickets. “They will be asked to fill a form giving information about the consignment. There will be an SMS alert system for the dispatcher and the receiver of the parcel,” he said.

Meanwhile, a senior official told IANS that cargo and parcel services will start in places where the three transport corporations’ buses ply.

“All three KSRTC, NWKRTC and NEKRTC together operate around 16,000 buses, not only covering the length and breadth of Karnataka but also connecting all southern states and also Maharashtra and Goa. Therefore, trust factor will be our Unique Selling Point (USP),” the official added.

This is not the first time that these transport corporations have ventured into such business, but the earlier attempt in 2008 failed to evoke much response. “We have studied success model of our neighbouring states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which have making turnover of around Rs 70 to Rs 80 crore in this sector, and we are emulating them this time,” the official said.