HYDERABAD: The AP State Road Transport Corporation is planning to save as much as Rs50 crore a month by achieving better mileage and proper maintenance of engines.
Special training is being given to the drivers of 22,000-odd buses in RTC's fleet to impart skills to them to achieve a mileage of 5.30 kmpl (to run a distance of 5.30 km per a litre of diesel). This will become possible with judicious use of accelerator and clutch pedals. It has been found that only 18,000 of the 22,000-odd buses have a mileage of 5.30 kmpl.
Due to poor maintenance of vehicles, engines of 30 buses on an average malfunction every month, needing repairs or replacement. As each depot operates about 100 buses, the condemnation of engines is approximately a staggering 30 percent. This again is attributed to ignorance of drivers.
The management has decided to give training to drivers in checking the engine oil gauge at prescribed mileage, maintaining oil pressure, checking water pump and maintaining the required level of coolant in the engine. If these small precautions are taken, the need for engine replacement can be reduced by half. Still, if an engine malfunctions, its repair will need minimal cost and utilisation of spare parts can also be minimised. All this can lead to a saving of `30 crore a month.
The corporation is operating 22,561 buses from 210 depots. These buses touch 773 bus stations covering 82.42 lakh km and carry 134.56 lakh passengers to their destinations ever day is suffering and, yet, is incurring huge losses. Many schemes were introduced to increase the occupancy ration and steps taken to bring down operational costs to a moderate success but the situation is not satisfactory. According to officials, the organisation has incurred a loss `432 crore for the period April 2011 to January 2012. It is in addition to an accumulated loss of `2,000 crore.
The RTC operates seven zonal spare parts stores and an equal number of zonal workshops which cater to all the 210 depots where about 2,000 employees work. The organisation is spending, on an average, Rs 10.15 paisa per km towards maintenance and operational costs. The organisation can save Rs 0.80 paisa per km by improving the employee attendance.