Mathew T. Thomas

Mathew T. Thomas (born 27 September 1961) is an Indian politician and a member of legislative assembly, who was the former minister for water resources in Government of Kerala, State President and Legislature Party Leader of the Janata Dal (Secular). He was the Minister of Transport for Kerala from May 2006 to August 2009 in the LDF ministry led by V.S. Achuthanandan.

Mathew T Thomas
Mathew-T-Thomas.jpg
Minister for Water Resources,
Government of Kerala
In office
25 May 2016 – 26 November 2018
GovernorP. Sathasivam
Chief MinisterPinarayi Vijayan
Preceded byP.J. Joseph
Succeeded byK. Krishnankutty
Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
2006
In office
1987–1991
ConstituencyThiruvalla
Minister for Transport,
Government of Kerala
In office
18 May 2006 – 16 March 2009
GovernorR. L. Bhatia
R. S. Gavai
Chief MinisterV. S. Achuthanandan
Preceded byN. Sakthan
Succeeded byJose Thettayil
Personal details
Born (1961-09-27) 27 September 1961 (age 59)
Tiruvalla, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, India
Political partyJanata Dal (Secular)
Spouse(s)Dr.Achamma Alex
ChildrenAchu Anna Mathew,[1] Ammu Thankam Mathew

Early lifeEdit

Mathew Thomas was born in Thiruvalla as the son of Rev. T. Thomas, a priest of the Mar Thoma Church. He completed his B.Sc. degree from the Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla, and also has an LL.B from Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. He was motivated by the imposition of Emergency in 1977 to enter politics and joined the Kerala Vidyarthi Janata(KVJ), the state youth wing of the erstwhile Janata Party. He served in various positions, beginning as the KVJ Unit Secretary in Marthoma College, Thiruvalla; then as Taluk Secretary, Thiruvalla, District President, Alappuzha, State Secretary, and as State President(1985-88.).[2] He is married to Achamma Alex and has two daughters- Achu Anna Mathew and Ammu Thankam Mathew.

Political careerEdit

He has been elected as a Member of the Kerala Legislature, in 1987,[3] 2006,[4] 2011,[5] 2016[6] and 2021. In the 2021 elections, he polled 63289 votes, winning by a margin of 10767 votes, over his nearest rival, Victor T. Thomas of the Kerala Congress (M).

Accomplishments in officeEdit

As the Minister of Transport, Mathew bought the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) out of great financial crisis with a series of reforms. He commissioned a study that identified areas where KSRTC could generate revenue and reduce costs. The major steps taken were transforming the bus depots into revenue generating shopping malls.[7] As KSRTC owned the key location in every town this could generate income in the form of rent.[8]

Another progressive step was to improve fuel efficiency and reduce accidents. This was achieved through incentivising the drivers with better economy and fewer accident rates. The corporation had submitted a proposal to the State Government for switching over to CNG as fuel. The proposal, worth Rs 280 crore, envisaged using CNG in 1,500 buses in the first phase along with another proposal for acquiring electric buses, and both the proposals would be presented before the 13th Finance Commission. The Corporation could register an annual profit of Rs 43 crore on converting to CNG and Rs 288 crore on using LNG.[9] The KSRTC has been selected for the Kerala State Energy Conservation Awards 2009.[10]

Mathew revived the KSRTC bus bodybuilding units and ditched the decision to buy chassis from private companies, which saved the corporation a huge amount. This scheme also helped to move more contracted employees on to a permanent basis. He reviewed the pay scales, improved working conditions and made the KSRTC more employee friendly. He hence managed to avoid the strikes which had previously caused heavy losses.[11]

Mathew was instrumental in getting more funding for the KSRTC. Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission project 80 low floor air-conditioned Volvo buses were launched in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. Thiruvananthapuram also received another 50 air buses under the Ananthapuri Fast Buses Scheme.[12] During his tenure, the monthly earnings of the corporation jumped Rs.68 crore to Rs.100 crore. The distance covered by the KSRTC buses increased from over 11 lakh to 13 lakh kilometers. KSRTC also created 9,135 vacancies during his term.[13]

Mathew achieved all this with the credit of the only transport Minister to reduce the fares of KSRTC.[14] He resigned as a result of a split in his party and sacrificed his ministership to his fellow party MLA, Jose Thettayil.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.marunadanmalayali.com/news/keralam/mathew-t-thomas-daughters-marriage-54057
  2. ^ Sri Mathew T. Thomas, Kerala Ministers
  3. ^ Members of previous assembly - eighth kla (1987 - 1991)
  4. ^ Elected members
  5. ^ "Kerala Elections 2011 Result for Tiruvalla". Government of Kerala. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Members - Kerala Legislature". www.niyamasabha.org. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  7. ^ Bonds, bus-stand malls to pull Kerala state transport out of the red, Financial Express
  8. ^ KDTFC to modernise transport infrastructure in Kerala, The Hindu Business Line
  9. ^ KSRTC in for a recast, The Hindu Business Line
  10. ^ Energy Conservation Awards 2009 Results, Kerala Energy
  11. ^ KSRTC registers operational profits, The Hindu
  12. ^ 50 more Ananthapuri fast bus services, The Hindu
  13. ^ Pay revision soon for KSRTC employees, The Hindu
  14. ^ KSRTC to take up work on bus stations, The Hindu