It will be forced to spend Rs. 58 crore per month
The diesel price revision of Rs 11.67 per litre is expected to hit further the cash-strapped Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation.
According to a top official in the corporation, the decision to hike the diesel price has come at a time when the TNSTC was facing a crisis.
The additional burden due to the revision from Rs. 49.80 per litre to Rs. 61.67 per litre would force the corporation to cough up Rs. 58 crore per month for diesel throughout the State.
The corporation operated 22,300 vehicles from its depots covering 90.20 lakh km in all districts in the State. The total diesel consumption was around 48,000 kilo litres per month for the corporation’s entire fleet, which serviced 2.20 crore passengers every month, he told The Hindu over telephone from Chennai.
After a long gap of 11 years, the State had effected a revision in bus fares in 2011, when the price of diesel per litre was Rs 43.83. Now, there is a hike of 40 per cent after the revision, he pointed.
The Union government announced on Thursday that for bulk consumers, who include Railways, State transport undertakings, defence, cement and power plants and mines, the price revision came into effect without subsidy, while for private consumers, the revision was a meagre 45 paise per litre.
Senior trade union activist V. Pitchai of the CITU condemned the latest hike in diesel prices. In normal trade practice, for bulk purchases the price is less, while for retail purchase it is higher. In this case, the Centre had dealt a blow to the State transport undertakings by lifting the subsidy.
The TNSTC was already in the red and its normal functioning was difficult. With the severe hike, the corporation might find the going tough, Mr. Pitchai said.
TNSTC Staff Federation State joint general secretary S. Sampath said the corporation operated on a no-profit basis, with the sole aim of serving the public.
The government offered many sops to different sections of society.
A senior official in the Madurai TNSTC said that the corporation would consider scaling down its operations, especially on less profitable routes.