Hyderabad: As the possibility of a fare hike for the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation gets bigger, fact remains that even after the hike, an RTC bus will continue to be the cheapest and perhaps, safest, mode of transportation.
TSRTC Managing Director VC Sajjanar, in a statement, pointed out that all road transport corporations had hiked their fares, given the diesel price hike, increased manpower cost, spare parts cost and operational costs.
The TSRTC had last increased the fares in December 2019 but that did not help much because of the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent developments that resulted in the corporation not being able to function to its fullest capacity.
Diesel prices since then have gone up by 27.5 per cent and the impact was felt for the corporation which requires 6.80 lakh litres of diesel per day. Sajjanar also pointed out at the 60 per cent increase in automotive spare costs and additional spending by the corporation for sanitation.
“As a State-owned corporation, we on an average serve about 37 lakh passengers each day and many a time, the number has reached 1 crore a day. We also operate several buses to remote areas as a social responsibility, irrespective of profit and loss, which everyone is aware of,” he said.
The corporation selflessly served during the Covid crisis by transporting guest workers, sanitary workers, Covid warriors, medical and paramedical staff, Law and Order personnel and all others who worked for essential services, and also transported oxygen to needy areas on a priority basis. And in between all these, the losses only kept mounting for the TSRTC, as regular bus services were shut during the lockdown and even after restrictions were eased, several commuters preferred travelling in private modes like two-wheelers fearing the virus.
The corporation does not want to burden the commuters, but people were aware of the problems it faces and that the fare hike is unavoidable. “We request the passengers to cooperate with us for the welfare of the decades-old corporation which is considered as a lifeline to many,” said Sajjanar, adding that even after a hike, the TSRTC would remain the cheapest and safest mode of transport for the public.
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