Reeling under heavy losses and with no assistance from the government, the cash-starved APSRTC is likely to pledge few assets with different financial institutions to raise loans for procuring over 1400 buses under phase – I of JNNURM scheme to streamline its operations in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.
In 2010-11, the Corporation had purchased 1,540 luxury buses under JNNURM phase-I scheme. Of these, 1,000 were sanctioned for Hyderabad and the rest for Vijayawada, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam. The total expenditure of about Rs. 380 crore incurred on purchasing these buses was to be shared by the Ministry of Urban Development (40 per cent), State government (30 per cent) and the rest 30 per cent was to be borne by the APSRTC. However, the State Government in principle refused to fund its share and RTC had to bear 60 per cent of the expenditure. The same situation is prevailing this time and the chances of State government funding its share to buy new 1400 buses are appearing bleak, admits a senior RTC official.
“There is no choice but to pledge few assets to raise loans. This was done in the past as well for taking up different projects,” he explained.
Among the 1400 buses, 800 are planned for Hyderabad and the rest for Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati at an estimated cost of over Rs.340 crore. Though, depending on the region, the share of JNNURM increases to 50 and even 80 per cent in places like Tirupati, where the central government wants to improve public urban transportation, State government has to support RTC, adds the official. In the present circumstances and mounting losses, RTC alone cannot bear the cost. An appeal would be made again to the government and in case the request is denied, then efforts would be made to identify assets for raising loans, he says.
Keywords: Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation, APSRTC, RTC bus services, JNNURM scheme, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, JNNURM phase-I scheme, Ministry of Urban Development