Bus fares need to be hiked, officials tell CM

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was informed by officials at a meeting on Thursday that there was no way that the State road transport corporation could be bailed out of its financial crisis unless bus charges were hiked and the State government infused assistance to the corporation in a big way.

Lockdown effect

The officials brought to the notice of Mr. Rao that the RTC continued to reel under losses due to a steep increase in diesel prices, buses going off roads due to COVID-19 induced lockdown and accumulated losses of the corporation. The financial burden would increase further if the salaries of crew were increased. When the bus charges were increased the last time, the diesel price was ₹ 67 a litre. Within a short time, the price went up by ₹ 15 a litre. This had a severe impact on the financial position of the corporation.

In addition, the lockdown related losses and accumulated losses deepened the circumstances.

In these circumstance, a salary revision for staff was expected. If the salaries were hiked, it would result in an assailable situation for the corporation, which it was in no position to face. Therefore, liberal assistance of the government and hike in bus charges were the only way out. The officials explained to Mr. Rao that the situation was far better than in the past. The government assistance and some hard decisions taken by the corporation resulted in some improvement.

The decision to run services to Andhra Pradesh increased occupancy rate to 58 per cent. The rate was gradually on the increase. The corporation was earning a revenue of ₹ 9 crore a day. The position was bound to improve further. But, the increase in diesel prices was a concern.

Mr. Rao praised the officials for the cargo services introduced by the corporation. He noted that the corporation earned a revenue of ₹ 22.61 crore from delivery of 17.72 lakh parcels. The public was also happy with the services as they were convinced that the parcels would reach the destinations safely in time.

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