Thallu Start

The management of the 11 cluster bus companies will be restructured on a 50:50 government/private basis, State Transport Minister said.

rnrnThough 50 percent state owned, the private investor will also get the management contract, says Minister Upali Piyasoma.

rnrnWork on partially privatizing the railways is also steaming ahead under the guidance of a foreign consultant, Piyasoma said.

rnrnHe said railway revenue rose 17 percent last year, mainly due to the expansion in passenger and freight transportation.

rnrnHowever, operating expenditure climbed up 12 percent due to a wage hike and rising fuel costs. As a result, the railway department
quote s costs rose by 10 percent to Rs. 1.835 bn in 2001.

rnrnThe situation in the state bus services is no different, says Piyasoma.

rnrnBus transport services cannot be improved unless the bus fares are deregulated and a proper competitive system is in place, while the state transport service also has to be depoliticised.

rnrnOf the total bus fleet of 24,