Increase in fares to cover additional burden of Rs. 800 crore on APSRTC
Even as Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana and APSRTC Managing Director A.K. Khan have said that a fare hike was inevitable following the steep increase in the price of high speed diesel, senior officials of the corporation are involved in an exercise to offset the additional burden, estimated at Rs. 805 crore this year.
The break-up includes Rs. 480 crore towards operational losses and Rs. 325 crore more on account of the diesel price increase. Every rupee increase in cost of diesel means an additional cost of Rs. 65 crore for the corporation. All this is apart from the losses of Rs. 2,800 crore that the books showed, till the last financial year.
When contacted, Mr. Satyanarayana said that given the depressing financial scenario, the RTC was left with no option but to increase the fares in a fair manner, without impacting the common man. It was important for the corporation to break even. At the same time, he said the government would continue to be supportive by bearing the burden of the concessions offered to different sections of society.
Senior officials declined to speculate on the quantum of fare hike. The last fare hike on July 19, 2011 happened after diesel prices were increased three times in a span of about 17 months, amounting to about Rs. 8 a litre, overall. Accordingly, fares were hiked by four paise per km for ‘Pallevelugu’ (rural services) buses, eight paise for express services, 10 paise each for deluxe and Garuda services, with fares of super luxury buses increased by 12 paise.
Currently, the fares are 50 paise per km (Pallevelugu), 62 paise (Express), 70 paise (Deluxe), 82 paise (Super Luxury), Rs. 1.20 (Indra), Rs. 1.40 (Garuda), Rs. 1.50 (Garuda Plus) and Rs. 2.30 (Vennela sleeper buses). Officials do not rule out the possibility of the forthcoming hike being much more than the one in July last.