Ageing fleet adds to TSRTC's predicament

The last time RTC added a new bus to its fleet was in 2015; some buses ran for more than 15 lakh km and need high maintenance.

Published: 27th September 2021 07:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2021 07:45 AM   |  A+A-

TSRTC

Telangana State Road Transport Corporation Bus (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The TSRTC’s ageing fleet is adding to the corporation’s woes, with maintenance costs increasing by the day for keeping them on roads. While hundreds of vehicles have been scrapped in the past few years, with no new procurements, some refurbished vehicles are a part of the fleet, particularly for catering to the city.

According to sources, TSRTC last added a new bus to its fleet in 2015. Some of the buses have ran for more than 15 lakh km, and the average age of these buses is 12 years. The scrapped buses in the city were sometimes replaced with refurbished Pallevelugu buses by just repainting and changing the seats, without rebuilding the body. “Even those Pallevelugu buses were actually converted from Express buses and sent to routes on the countryside, and were later brought back” said a source.

The Greater Hyderabad zone, for instance, witnessed huge variation when compared to Earnings per Kilometer (EPK) and Cost per Kilometer (CPK). During January, February and March, when the corporation breathed somewhat easier, it recorded CPKs of `71.59, `70.51 and `93.87, compared to EPKs of `28.93, `33.74 and `31.81, respectively. “Even though the CPK takes into consideration other factors including staff salaries and oil, the maintenance could be a major factor,” said an official.

A total of 634 city ordinary buses have been scrapped since 2014-15. These were supposed to be replaced by 320 new buses, but instead, a few buses were transformed from Pallevelugu to ordinary ones. As per a reply to an RTI, out of a total of 3,414 buses, about 250 buses, mostly the ordinary ones, had covered more than 15 lakh km. The data shows that the corporation has spent meagre amounts on city ordinary buses, as only three new ones were added in 2015-16 out of a total of 250 buses procured, including a 21 Vajra AC, which was procured recently.

With reports stating that the number of buses on city routes would be cut down in the coming days, the fleet in the city would be further reduced to 2,500 from 3,800 buses before the RTC strike of 2019.

Scrapped buses are not being replaced

A total of 634 city ordinary buses have been scrapped since 2014-15. These were supposed to be replaced by 320 new buses, but instead, a few buses were transformed from Pallevelugu to ordinary ones. As per a reply to an RTI, out of a total of 3,414 buses, about 250 buses, mostly the ordinary ones, had covered more than 15 lakh km. Only three ordinary buses were added in 2015-16 out 250 buses procured


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