ANDHRA PRADESH

Govt. decision on RTC fare hike soon

HYDERABAD Jan. 28. The Government is expected to take a decision soon on the proposal of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation recommending a fare increase of three paise per kilometre.

The proposals were sent to the Government on Monday evening. "We are waiting for the Government decision as early as possible," the APSRTC Managing Director, R.P. Singh, said on Tuesday. He said the Government could be expected to devote attention on the issue now that the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, had returned to the city after attending the World Economic Forum meet at Davos.

In view of the mounting losses and the rising fuel bill, the RTC had proposed the hike. While the fare increase is likely to be more pronounced in the rural areas, it would be very marginal in the urban areas. According to a RTC official, the fare hike in the rural areas would be effected only at the lower level - probably in first two stages.

The corporation now collects 32, 37 and 50 paise per km in ordinary, express and hi-tech services respectively. The minimum fare on the urban routes is Rs. 2.50 (this figure is likely to be rounded off if the Government agrees to the proposals submitted by the RTC board of directors), it is Rs. 2 in the rural areas.

The corporation was in the red to the extent of Rs. 240 crores last year.

This year's losses so far are put at Rs. 180 crores. This plus the fuel bill of over Rs. 150 crores, following the revision of fuel price, is bound to burden the corporation.

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