The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is examining a proposal to monopolise the Hyderabad-Vijayawada bus route so as to mop up resources for the organisation.
The move, proposed to be implemented from Sankranti next year, will hit the private bus operators, who are making a killing by operating hundreds of buses on one of the busiest passenger routes in the State, hard. The corporation has identified Hyderabad-Vijayawada and Hyderabad-Bengaluru as potential routes for monopolisation.
APSRTC Managing Director A. K. Khan told reporters that if the government gives permission, the corporation would operate 100 per cent buses on one or two routes.
“Our plan was to monopolise Hyderabad-Vijayawada and Hyderabad-Bengaluru routes. But, there are some issues relating to inter-State permits pertaining to the Hyderabad-Bengaluru route,” a top source in the government said.
A survey has been commissioned by the RTC to verify the number of private buses plying on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada route. As per conservative estimates, at least 300 buses, including multi-axle luxury buses, are operated by private operators on the route.
According to the proposal, the Transport Department will then launch a drive to curb ‘illegal plying of buses’ by private operators. As most of these private operators run the services as stage carriers despite obtaining permits for contract carriages, the Transport Department wants to check this practice. The Transport Department also plans to stop issuing permits for contract carriages in a phased manner on the route the RTC monopolises.
“We will crack down on the erring bus operators if they are found to be plying buses with unauthorised permits,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, a press release informed that RTC will run 800 buses to Sabarimala. Mr. Khan said that compared to last year they were hopeful of bringing down the losses of RTC due to improvement in occupancy ratio, better fuel mileage and utilisation of fleet. The corporation decided to deploy ‘Sheetal’ buses, which were not making profits, as ‘Pushpak’ services to the Shamshabad Airport. A proposal to run direct bus services from the airport to Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Mahububnagar was also being studied. The corporation also acquired 1,200 buses to replace old buses.