HYDERABAD: The RTC strike may be off, but mistrust continues to hang heavy in the air as far as the TSRTC JAC is concerned. The JAC leaders insist that the number of city buses on Hyderabad roads will come down drastically. They allege that nearly 1,000 buses will be removed from the RTC fleet in the city.
At present, there are roughly 3,400 buses catering to 30 lakh passengers everyday in the State capital. However, if the allegations are true, it would shrink the fleet to 2,400 buses for the same number of commuters.
The allegations are worrying citizens as the ramifications would range from low frequency of buses or complete stoppage of buses on certain routes. This would imply that the density of private vehicles on city roads will increase, leading to traffic jams.
Sources in the RTC management, however, note that the figure of 1,000 buses is exaggerated. Though there have been orders from higher-ups to reduce the loss-making fleet’s size, 1,000 buses will not be taken off the roads in one go.
“Approximately 400-500 buses which were not in a fit condition have already been taken off services in the last one-and-a-half years. We have however compensated the trips with better efficiency owing to which commuters have not been inconvenienced,” noted an official.
Furthermore, they are looking to remove roughly 200 old buses from the present fleet in the coming months. The effect of this too will be minimal due to other factors. The RTC employees in the city prior to the strike worked 7-and-a-half hours a day.
However, as per the rules, they are supposed to put in eight hours a day. With the strike this time, the 8-hour shift has been reintroduced so we are able to run two-three trips more than before,” explained an official.
The net effect of buses hence lost in the last one-and-a-half years and now will be nullified by the extra hours clocked by staff from now, observed the official.Buses, however will be taken off from routes which clash with the metro to ensure that colonies are not cut off.