HYDERABAD: The APSRTC’s dream project to boost its revenue - cargo service - has remained a non-starter. It's been three months since the proposals have been forwarded to the government, but no response has come yet.
The biggest passenger transport corporation has come up with the idea to overcome its mounting losses, said to have crossed Rs 2,000 crore this year with Sakala Janula Samme alone accounting for Rs 230 crore. The organisation is running into a severe deficit due to increasing maintenance costs and employees' salaries.
The fund crunch is also not allowing it to replace worn-out buses. The corporation has a whopping 7,000 buses which have outlived their utility as far as transporting passengers is concerned.
It is exactly in this area the corporation wants to leverage its advantages. It has designed a plan to make use of its old fleet to transport cargo for government departments, a seemingly win-win proposition as it can not only use its outdated buses without spending much on their improvement but also open a new avenue to boost its revenue.
To begin with, the RTC plans to transport foodgrains and other civil supplies of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) from their godowns to various mandals. It is also looking to transport coal produced by the Singareni Collieries Company Ltd from mining points to various locations in the state and also handle transport services at the Krishnapatnam port. The RTC officials have already had a preliminary round of talks with the officials of these government undertakings.
According to official information, the RTC has sent proposals for over `800 crore for the project. The government, it is learnt, has raised some doubts on the project and kept the clearance on hold.
When asked about the plan, transport minister Botcha Satyanarayana denied knowledge of any RTC cargo service proposal pending with the government. He said he would check on it and take necessary action.