HYDERABAD: As Covid-19 peaks, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is once again staring at the disturbing prospects of gaping losses with occupancy in buses taking a hit lately. In the first fortnight of January, average revenue generation was less than Rs 10 cr per day. The only redeeming factor was that the corporation could pick up by operating 4,000 additional bus services during Sankranti season from January 7 to 17.
Soon the Sankranti euphoria ebbed out as a fresh spell of despondency set in with staff contracting Covid-19. In Bus Bhavan, the headquarters of the TSRTC, about 30 cases of Covid-19 have been reported. According to official sources, there was an overall increase of Rs 7 EPK (Earnings per KM) when compared to 2020 when it was Rs 27 and Rs 34 in 2021 with pandemic easing in the later part of last year. In the last few months, the revenue was more than Rs 10 crore per day, highest being Rs 14.79 crore in a day in October.
However, the feel good factor began waning as Sankranti passed with the resurgence of Covid-19 leading to loss of revenue. In fact, even on January 15, the RTC generated just Rs 5.62 crore despite pressing into service the Sankranti special services.
The highest occupancy ratio (OR) that touched on January 17 was 77%, with EPK (Earnings per KM) of Rs 36.77, with revenue generation slipping to Rs 12.21 cr on the last day of the season. Now its OR and EPK hover around 60-65% and Rs 32-35 respectively. While over 30 cases of Covid-19 were reported from Bus Bhavan alone, including some higher officials contracting the virus, scores of employees tested positive in other depots.
“There could be around 10 staffers who might have contracted Covid-19 in each depot. Despite our repeated pleas, the management has not
yet provided masks and sanitisers. Even the idea of establishing a Covid-19 centre for the staff is yet to materialise,” rued TJMU general secretary K Hanumanthu.