COVID-19 scare dents RTC revenue

In Karimnagar region, transport corporation sees 5% decline in earnings

Updated - March 14, 2020 11:56 pm IST

Published - March 14, 2020 11:55 pm IST - KARIMNAGAR

Hit by the virus: The RTC-Karimnagar region has 10 depots with around 900 buses.

Hit by the virus: The RTC-Karimnagar region has 10 depots with around 900 buses.

The dreaded COVID-19 has cast its shadow on Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) operations in Karimnagar region with the number of commuters witnessing a steady decline.

Occupancy ratio in RTC buses have fallen considerably following an advisory to the people to avoid crowds as a precaution against spread of the disease. Bus stations wore a deserted look and RTC buses were being operated without adequate passengers in most routes in the district.

RTC-Karimnagar region comprises 10 depots with around 900 buses in the integrated district, catering to at least 6 lakh commuters and earning more than ₹1 crore per day.

Till March 5, the average daily earnings of RTC was around ₹1.23 crore. However, from March 6, income declined to ₹1.17 crore — a 5% reduction. Each depot was losing at least ₹50,000 to ₹1.5 lakh per day as very few commuters seem to be travelling by buses.

Holi blow

During Holi, it is usual for RTC to operate at least 50 additional buses to meet the rush, but this year, it could not operate any special services on March 9 and 10 as many refrained from celebrating the festival of colours over COVID-19 scare.

Following the identification of first COVID-19 case in Hyderabad on March 2, and instructions from the State medical department, the RTC had been according priority to thorough cleaning of buses by using all chemicals to sterilise the seats and hand bars.

Poster campaign

The RTC has also launched a poster and sticker campaign to educate people about prevention of COVID-19 and provided masks to RTC conductors.

Admitting that the RTC had incurred close to 5% losses, Karimnagar RTC regional manager Jeevan Prasad said the impact was more in respect of AC buses. “We are ensuring cent per cent sterilisation of buses to check the spread of disease,” he stated.

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