It isn’t just operational losses but also non-performing assets that seem to be eating into the revenue of the cash-starved AP State Road Transport Corporation (RTC).
Though the Visakhapatnam region of RTC has made profit on the operational front, it is being dogged by problems with lands leased to private parties. A private party, which had constructed a multi-storeyed complex on the premises of the Dwaraka Bus Station (DBS) Complex, popularly known as RTC Complex, has stopped activity after 80 per cent of the work was completed.
The private party was awarded the project in 2005 on the condition that the work had to be completed in two years. There were initial delays in grounding of the work due to problems with the permission from Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC). The subsequent construction of the Asilmetta – Dondaparthy flyover by the GVMC made the party develop cold feet.
The flyover eclipsed the elevation of the building leading the developer to close almost all windows on the flyover side. In the changed scenario the developer is reportedly considering handing over the project to a third party. The RTC which has not earned anything from the asset has reportedly issued a contract termination notice to the developer.
In another case, a leaseholder, who was given a shop at the Nakkapalli Bus Stand, refused to pay the lease amount to the RTC on the ground that the bus stand was built on Endowments Department lands. She reportedly even went to the court on the issue. RTC authorities said it was a matter to be settled between two government departments and the leaseholder had no locus standi in the issue and she was bound to honour the lease agreement and pay the lease amount. For the RTC in Visakhapatnam region ‘leasing lands in haste and repenting at leisure’ seems to be the maxim.