HYDERABAD: IT seems that the State government’s plan to downsize the TSRTC has hit a roadblock. The corporation’s tender inviting bids for 1,035 odd buses, to be taken on hire for non-profitable routes, has been met with a rather poor response. This has forced RTC to give up the profitable routes, just to fulfil the mandate and open doors of the transportation sector to private players.
The government had floated the initial tender for October 21. However, Express learnt that of the 1,035 buses sought from private players on hire basis, the bids came in only for some 287 odd buses, that too only for district routes. For the city, there were only 12 buses bid in place of the 760+ tenders floated for city buses. In the private hire basis system, the RTC pays a basic sum to private players for hiring their service, while the private party bears the cost of diesel, personnel and maintenance.
The lack of takers for city routes forced the TSRTC management to reduce the private hire buses in city to merely 248 now, and increase the share of private players for district routes that make a profit. The new tenders for across State -- all together for 1,248 buses now -- are up for finalisation on October 26.
However, if sources are to be believed, the management is not expecting takers for even these 248 bus routes in the city.
“Private hire buses rarely operate in the city, as traffic issues, as well as diesel requirement, are much higher. Moreover, personnel availability is sparse. While even the RTC struggles to find drivers for such low pay in the city, private hire bus operators who pay lower than RTC will have a hard time finding someone to take up the job,” explained a senior official.
Hence, from 760 private hires, the number was brought down to 260 for the city. The whole idea of trifurcation was to reduce the dependence of citizens on RTC buses so that in case another strike was to happen in the future, there will be less disruption. However, with just 12 buses to be operated by private players in the city, the potential for an improvement in the situation is sparse.
It is further learnt that the new tenders will take the number of private buses to 3,500 buses. The government initially planned for trifurcation into 50% buses owned by RTC, 30% by private hire buses and 20% by private parties.
‘Way KCR spoke unbecoming of a CM’
RTC JAC convenor Ashwathama Reddy met BJP leader and Minister of State Kishan Reddy on Friday and shared with him the issues faced by RTC workers, whose salaries were withheld. Speaking to the press with BJP State president Laxman, Ashwathama said: “The way the CM addressed the RTC workers after the win has made people lose all respect for him.” Ashwathama was speaking with regard to a press meet held by KCR on Thursday evening, where he said nobody could save RTC and the employees have blindly followed the unions to their doom. He stated that someone of the stature of a chief minister must not mock the workers of RTC and issue threats routinely