As people in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions heaved a sigh of relief at AP State Road Transport Corporation buses getting back onto the road after the 61-day strike, corporation officials are faced with another headache.
Even as the corporation is trying to come to grips with the estimated Rs. 745-crore loss of revenue due to non-operation for 61 days, about 1,300 of the 12,065 buses that operate in the 13 districts of Seemandhra are off the road.
This is because they cannot carry passengers without getting their mandatory fitness certificate (FC) to be issued by Motor Vehicle Inspectors of the Transport Department. According to the rules, while new buses need an FC for the first time after three years of operation, their physical condition has to be necessarily certified every year thereon, by the Transport department.
From Friday morning though, this problem eased, with RTC officials in depots across the 13 districts rushing buses that needed FCs to the nearest Road Transport Authority offices for getting their fitness cleared in a hurry.
In Kurnool district alone, 31 buses were taken for FC of which 30 were cleared, according to N. Sivarama Prasad, Deputy Transport Commissioner.
Executive Director (Engineering & IT), G. Jaya Rao said that of the RTC’s fleet strength of 19,240, an estimated 4,500 buses had crossed the upper limit of 12 lakh km of operation, while about 5,500 of them have run over 10 lakh.
“On an average, we need to replace about 2,000 vehicles every year. And despite our financial status being what it is, we have managed to do a good job replacing 1,476 buses (through Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) in the year 2009, 1,000 in 2010, 4,000 in 2011, 1,450 in 2012 and 1,000 this year,” he said.