Andhra Pradesh

Hectic efforts on to help RTC get out of the red

Construction being taken up in a big way at Pandit Nehru Bus Station, Vijayawada, as part of move to commercialise RTC properties

2015 will go down in the history of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) as an important milestone.

Besides huge accumulated losses over the years, bifurcation dealt a further blow to the corporation, adding to its brimming cup of woes. But, the latter part of year saw the corporation authorities mustering courage and taking some bold decisions to save the public transport giant.

Amidst uncertainty over the bifurcation of the corporation, senior officials charted out a series of measures aimed at curbing the enormous losses that had been plaguing it.

Charting a new route to commercialisation of properties of the RTC, officials have initiated a series of construction activity at the Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) in Vijayawada.

“We did let out our premises for commercial operations in the past, but this is the first time we are doing it in a big way. Coupled with this will be our committed efforts to improve the occupancy ratio in RTC buses, which will ultimately help us wriggle out of the crisis,” APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director N. Sambasiva Rao told The Hindu .

Mr. Rao’s fond hopes do not seem to be misplaced going by the fact that the corporation, which incurred a loss of Rs. 600 crore last year, could bring it down to Rs. 335 crore by November this year.

The increase in, what officials call “personal cost” on account of the 43 per cent fitment to employees, has come with a marginal bus fare hike. “We need to balance it out,” Mr. Rao said.

To improve efficiency and attract new patrons, PNBS is being given a facelift.

Toilets at the facilities have been modernised, and the construction of two digital mini-theatres in the arrival block is in full swing.

The theatres, with 130 seats each, will function 24/7 to entertain passengers.

“Besides movies, educational programmes will be screened,” an RTC official said. Coming to passenger amenities, nearly 600 three-seater benches have replaced the worn-out ones, and 200 new fans are in place. A new set of payphones with the latest gadgets is available at the station.

A video wall will soon be set up opposite the enquiry counter, while reservation counters will be shifted below the staircase. The corporation has taken up construction works in 6,500 square feet space for housing the offices of the Managing Director, Executive Directors and other senior officers on the PNBS premises at a cost of Rs. 98 lakh.

Pulling out all stops to cut down on operating costs and earn profits, the corporation now also offers fuel to hired buses, hoping it cuts down fuel and operating costs by Rs. 20 crore.

The RTC has its own fuel stations, and the net price is Rs. 3 to Rs. 3.5, which is less than the market price. It is estimated that a bus consumes 90 litres of fuel a day. The move will help the RTC cut down fuel cost by Rs. 270 a day per bus, thereby increasing revenue.

APSRTC is the second largest corporation in the country and is divided into four zones - Vijayawada, Vizianagaram, Nellore and Kadapa. It also operates 126 depots and 426 stations.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 6:01:01 PM |

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