VIJAYAWADA: THE APSRTC will launch city bus services in all the 25 parliamentary constituencies of the state under the Centrally-sponsored National Bus Rejuvenation Programme. At present, the RTC is operating inter-city services in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam only. RTC vice-chairman and managing director M Pratap on Wednesday said AP and Maharashtra were selected for the programme.
“We conducted a survey in Kakinada and sent a proposal to Urban Mass Transit Company to ply 215 buses in and around the city suburbs. After assessing the results, the model will be replicated in other parliamentary segments,” he said and added a detailed project report was being prepared. Also, to overcome the shortage of drivers of heavy vehicles, the corporation is planning to establish state-of-the-art driving schools in all parliamentary constituencies.
“We have decided to train 5,000 persons every year. Each school will train 200 drivers and the main objective of such schools is to create employment opportunities for the youths. Certificates will be provided by the Transport Department.”
Bangalore-based Intellica has come forward to provide software and other technical support for the operation of such buses. Skilled drivers will train the youths at the driving schools. Interested can join the schools by paying a minimal fee. Apart from driving, the youth will also be trained in minor repair works, engine maintenance and administering first aid.
Besides, the trained can find jobs with educational institutions and transport companies, the official observed. Commenting on the steep hike in diesel prices, Pratap said the Corporation was earning barely sufficient revenue to pay the fuel bills. At present, the RTC has debts worth Rs 7,000 crore. After merger, the state government has been providing Rs 3,600 crore per annum towards payment of salaries. The remaining loss was being borne by the Corporation. “We have written to the Centre seeking financial assistance for the Corporation so that we can recover the losses incurred in the last couple of months,” Pratap added.
To overcome the shortage of drivers of heavy vehicles, the corporation is planning to establish state-of-the-art driving schools in all the parliamentary constituencies. Each school is expected to train 200 drivers every year and, in total, 5,000 people will be trained in operating heavy vehicles in a year