Te outbreak of COVID-19 has made travelling extremely difficult for everyone and Kannur’s Pattiam is no exception to the problem. Hence, to tackle the issue, the residents came up with the idea of buying a bus by donating money. Over 1000 families made a donation of Rs 2500 each and bought a bus they named ‘Pattiam Janakeeyam’ which will be starting its services from Thursday.
Actor Sreenivasan was born in Pattiam. It came as a coincidence that this democratic bus will be running in the same route of ‘Gulf Motors’ in 1989 Mohanlal movie ‘Varavelppu’ which was written by Sreenivasan.
Though ‘Varavelppu’ was filmed in Palakkad, the route shown in the movie is between Pattiam Kongatta and Vettummal. ‘Pattiam Janakeeyam’ will be running in almost the exact route.
The idea to start a democratic bus service was born after private buses stopped their service due to the losses in the COVID-19 pandemic. A working committee of 25 members with P Manoharan as chairman and TP Saseendran as convenor provided the initiative. The committee has members from all political parties. An amount of Rs 26 lakhs was crowdfunded within 2 and a half months from 1040 individuals. The bus employees are also local residents.
The RTO at first didn’t grant permits for the 33-seater bus. But it was granted after approaching the high court. The office-bearers said that the next meeting will discuss profit sharing and future operation of the bus.