HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation plans to increase its EPK (Earnings Per Km) by providing everyone the opportunity to ‘hail and board’ in urban centres. The corporation suffered huge losses during the two Covid-19 lockdowns and is slowly focusing on bouncing back. “Things have changed. Unlike in earlier days, we are now stopping if a prospective passenger is on the road and waving his hand at us. The focus is increasing EPK, which is picking up,” said a conductor of Uppal depot.
However, these measures continue to serve the urban areas with rural Telangana still not receiving adequate services. For instance, Uddamarri village in Medchal-Malkajgiri district which had four services (211B and 211U) from Hakeempet depot (covering four to five villages) earlier, is now reduced to one service. “The Uddamarri village is close to the villages adopted by Chief Minister.
Those who were dependent on these buses are now forced to take share autos. Further these is no communication as when these will be restored,” said A Satti Reddy of Telangana Peda Prajala Sankshema Sangham, who represented the matter to V Venkateswarlu, ED, Greater Hyderabad Zone.
According to him, services at some other nearby villages are yet to be restored. These include Usharpally in Shamirpet mandal and Bandakadipally in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district. Official sources at RTC said that officials will conduct a ‘route survey’ before deciding on restoring services.The failure of re-engaging the hired buses particularly to villages is taking toll on long-established patronage.
With pending dues to bus owners amounting to almost `80 crore, the management continues to avoid hired buses. “From 3,170 hired buses before lockdown, around 1,200 buses (mostly Palle Velugu) are yet to brought into service. Overall, some 8,500 buses are plying in the State,” added the official.