We are trying to pull the RTC out of the red, says A.K. Khan
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has accumulated losses to the tune of Rs. 560 crore.
“The APSRTC is in losses and we are trying hard through innovative methods to pull the organisation out of the red,” its Vice-Chairman and Managing Director A.K. Khan told a press conference here on Saturday. He put the daily loss incurred by the RTC at Rs. 2 crore.
Mr. Khan was speaking to the local media as part of his maiden visit to Vijayawada after assuming charge. In what was seen essentially as a ‘familiarisation’ visit to the region, Mr. Khan went around the various bus depots and interacted with the officials and crew of the organisation.
He admitted that a major chunk of the losses were due to illicit operations by private vehicles. To tackle the menace of private operators, he said, 135 routes had been identified. “In an attempt to handle the problem in a phased manner, we intend to focus on 50-60 routes for now. With the assistance of the Road Transport Authority wing and the police department, efforts are on to curb these illegal plying of vehicles,” he said.
Claiming initiation of many new measures to enhance occupancy ratio in RTC buses, he said many changes would be seen in the RTC bus services in the next one week. He said it was true that Vijayawada was the centre of a major chunk of illicit operations by private vehicle owners in the State.
Referring to the newly-introduced Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) in the city, Mr. Khan said it was a very good scheme but “initial losses are inevitable”. The RTC alone could not maintain the rapid transport system, he added.
Speaking about the raids being conducted on unauthorised private vehicles plying across the State in the last five days, he said the organisation was able to mob up additional revenue of Rs.1.30 crore per day. “The RTC has assets valued at Rs.3,500 crore and some of them have been leashed out on contract. We are in the process of reviewing the contracts and identify defaulters,” he said, stressing the need to maintain transparency and accountability in the whole exercise.
The RTC MD said 3,000 buses in the RTC fleet were needed to be replaced. “We have received 2,000 buses and of them, we have allotted 780 buses to rural areas,” he added. RTC Executive Director (Operations) Ramana Rao was present.
Mr. A.K. Khan visited the bus station and depots here on Saturday and interacted with officials and staff. He also spoke to a few passengers about the services being rendered by the State carrier. On the occasion, Mr. Khan said efforts were on to improve the quality of services while giving due importance to safety.