The state government will bear the additional financial burden of Rs 715 crore on the AP State Road Transport Corporation caused by the increase in the diesel price, minister for transport B Satyanarayana has said.
Participating as chief guest at a function held to give away the ‘Best HSD KMPL Awards’ to RTC drivers at RTC Kalabhavan here on Tuesday, the minister said the central government had to take some unpleasant decisions to ensure welfare programmes for people go unhindered.
‘’When the diesel prices were hiked last time, we shared the burden by increasing the bus fares. But, we cannot burden passengers either. The APSRTC is, on its own, not in a position to bear the additional financial burden. After discussing the matter with chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and the officials concerned, it was decided that the state government would bear the additional burden of the APSRTC and measures are being initiated in that direction and will be announced shortly.’’
Lauding the good work done by APSRTC drivers and other employees in saving the fuel, thereby saving crores of rupees for the organisation, the minister wanted every driver in the RTC to be in the above-average KMPL category. ‘’Today, the average fuel consumption is 5.01 kmpl and efforts are being made to bring it to 5.31 km. There are as many as 20,500 drivers, who feature in the category that had achieved it, while there are another 1,637 drivers who have achieved 6 kmpl and above. But there are still nearly 10,000 drivers who feature in below 5 kmpl category, which need to be changed,’’ he said.
APSRTC chairman M Satyanarayana Rao, in his presidential address, was all praise for vice-chairman and managing director AK Khan. ‘’He took over the reins when the organisation was bogged down by one problem after another. With his relentless approach, he succeeded in stabilising the organisation,’’ he said.
RTC managing director AK Khan stressed the need for saving fuel and said it was achievable if everyone pitched in and contributed his bit. Describing APSRTC as one big family, he said something better could be done to the members of the family when its financial position improved. For that to happen, every drop of fuel must be saved, he said. HPCL executive director S Jayakishan, RTC executive director G Jaya Rao and others also spoke.