State Transport Undertakings (STUs) have recorded improved earnings in 2012-13, despite frequent revision of fuel price, dual pricing of diesel and increase in prices of spare parts, coupled with increase in dearness allowance of employees. As a result, the cumulative loss came down, said Transport Minister V. Senthil Balaji on Friday.

Replying to the debate on the demands for grants for his department in the Assembly, the Minister claimed that several measures initiated by the government to improve the performance of STUs resulted in an improvement in fuel efficiency, from 5.25 km per litre in March 2011 to 5.27 litres in March 2013. This meant a saving of Rs 12.5 crore per year.

The number of scheduled services increased from 19,110 in March 2011 to 20, 500 in March 2013. Bus collection per day stood at Rs 19.86 crore in 2012-13 and total earning per day at Rs 22.75 crore, The STUs earned Rs 16.13 crore through advertisements in buses. Their cumulative loss was at Rs 829.91 crore in 2012-13, against Rs. 1, 791.64 crore in 2011-12.

The percentage of fatality per 10,000 vehicles had come down in 2012 due to the steps taken to save lives, the Minister said. In 2011, the percentage was at 10 (1.48 crore vehicles and 15,422 deaths) and it came down to 9.73 in 2012 (1.66 crore vehicles and 16, 175 deaths).

Accident claims

Mr. Senthil Balaji announced that an ‘accident claims settlement fund’ was created with Rs 40 crore for speedy disbursement of compensation to victims. As a step to enhance income, 11 places were identified for commercial exploitation through public-private partnership. Mr. Senthil Balaji announced the procurement of 185 automatic cleaning machines for 185 bus depots at a cost of Rs 85 crore. In order to improve the efficiency of STUs, a common software would be developed at a cost of Rs 10 crore to integrate all functions.

He also announced the creation of special enforcement wings in 35 Regional Transport Offices and two Joint Transport Commissioner’s offices, one each at Srirangam and Chennai. The Deputy Transport Commissioner’s offices in Madurai and Coimbatore would be upgraded as Joint Transport Commissioner’s offices.