Corporation facing heavy losses due to rise in fuel prices, suspension of services
A bus fare hike is on the anvil with the Telangana State Road Tranport Corporation (TSRTC) on Sunday preparing proposals to increase by 25 paise per kilometer to 30 paise per km.
The move was deliberated upon at a review meeting which Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar chaired with TSRTC officials, including Managing Director V C Sajjanar and Chairman Bajireddy Goverdhan.
The move comes in the wake of devastating losses which the transport juggernaut sustained primarily due to an increase in fuel prices, suspension of services due to the COVID–19 pandemic, and operational costs. It may be recalled that the TSRTC, in a statement to the media released in August had underscored that it had suffered losses to the tune of ₹ 2,600 crore.
According to sources from the TSRTC an increase of 25 paise per km for Palle Velugu and City Ordinary Buses is being proposed. Further an increase of 30 paise for Metro Express and Metro Deluxe is being proposed.
The sources said that previously, a hike of 35 paise per km was suggested. The rationale behind this was the fact that diesel became dearer by approximately ₹ 22 per litre in about 18 months. But, with the Centre recently slashing excise duty on diesel by ₹ 10, the idea was eventually dropped, and a hike of between 25 paise and 30 paise was proposed.
TSRTC officials claimed that all efforts are being made not to burden the passengers.
The last bus fare hike in the State was witnessed in December 2019 when the basic fare was enhanced by 20 paise per km. The minimum fare for Palle Velugu and City Ordinary buses was increased to ₹ 10 and. Prior to this, a hike in fare was seen in 2016.
For the past several weeks, the transport juggernaut has been engaged in deliberations to increase its revenues. Monetising its properties by leasing out its large land parcels, including the bus stations in Karimnagar, too were discussed.
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