Of the 165 Volvo routes, only 13 were making profit while 110 were under complete loss

Although the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) posted a profit of Rs. 55 crore in 2008-09, it suffered operating losses of about Rs. 20 crore. The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, which looked into the affairs of the corporation, has attributed this to increased cost on fuel, operation of uneconomic routes, particularly the Volvo services and delay in undertaking maintenance of buses.

During the year, BMTC had 310 Volvo buses and operated them on 165 routes. Of these routes, only 13 made profit while 119 did not even cover the variable cost, the CAG report said. Between 2006-07 and 2008-09, the loss on account of operation of Volvo buses was Rs. 24.03 crore, it said. Incidentally, the Corporation resorted to fare rationalisation of Volvo services last week expecting that the increased fares should empower BMTC to recover the costs of operation.

Fuel guzzlers

While the revenue of the corporation in 2008-09 was Rs. 1,000.63 crore, the expenditure was Rs. 945.50 crore with BMTC earning a net profit of Rs. 55.18 crore. However, the operational cost was Rs. 929 crore and the operational revenue was Rs. 909 crore. The earning per kilometre (Rs. 22.34) was less than the cost per kilometre (Rs. 23.28), the report said and attributed the same to fuel guzzling Volvos, whose mileage was just 2.09 km a litre as against the estimated 2.5 km a litre.

In 2006-09, the revenue per kilometre dropped by 7.48 per cent while the cost increased by 16.98 per cent, it said. The report said the increase in cost was due to increase in staff cost and operation of Volvo buses, most of which were not recovering the costs. This may affect the corporation's ability to provide adequate public transport and timely replacement of the fleet to meet the growing demand, the CAG cautioned.

Line checking

The load factor too has decreased from 67 per cent in 2004-05 to 63.8 in 2008-09, the report pointed out. The decrease could be attributed to increase in the number of buses, from about 3,900 to 5,500 during the period, it was also due to decrease in line checking. During line checking, the corporation's security personnel check buses plying on the routes for passengers travelling without ticket. The line checking, the CAG said, decreased from 1.65 per cent in 2004-05 to 1.17 in 2008-09, although there was a steep increase in the number of trips operated — 160.8 lakh to 250.08 lakh during the period.

Keywords: BMTC buses

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