Hyderabad: The State government is of the view that it was impossible to run the TSRTC in its present form in view of the precarious financial condition of the corporation.
This was the view arrived at a high-level meeting convened by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan on Thursday to take stock of the situation in the light of the recent High Court order on the TSRTC imbroglio arising out of the 49 day strike.
The meeting, which evoked high interest among the agitating staff and others, decided to defer taking a concrete decision because of various factors. The meeting felt that with the HC likely to deliver its verdict on privatization of RTC routes on Friday, the government should take a final decision after the verdict. Moreover, the government has decided to undertake an in-depth study of RTC’s financial condition and the outcome of pending cases in the High Court while considering various options.
The five-hour-long meeting felt that a permanent solution had to be found to solve the problems of the corporation and to provide a better transport service to the people. Given the financial mess that the corporation finds itself in, the meeting noted that the RTC’s debts stood at a staggering Rs 5,000 crore out of which about Rs 2,000 crore have to paid towards instalments and loans. It would require about Rs 240 crore to pay September salaries to the employees and Rs 500 crore for CCS in addition to the arrears to be paid for diesel.
The corporation also owes road tax for the last two years and it needs to buy 6,200 buses to replace the old ones and the PF arrears are to the tune of Rs 65 to Rs 70 crore per month. Considering all these factors, the meeting felt that it would need at least Rs 640 crore per month to run the corporation.
“Who should bear this burden? The RTC is not capable of generating money and the government is also not in a position to bear this burden in view of the economic downturn. Even if the government shares part of the burden, how long could it continue? The option left is to increase the bus fares, but higher bus fares would mean people will not prefer RTC services,” the meeting opined.
In this backdrop, the meeting felt that it was impossible to run the corporation in its present form.
The meeting was attended by Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar, Chief Advisor Rajeev Sharma, Chief Secretary S K Joshi, Transport Commissioner and RTC in-charge MD Sunil Sharma and senior officials Narsing Rao, Ramakrishna Rao, Sandeep Sulthania, Santosh Reddy, and Advocate General B S Prasad, Additional AG Ramachandra Rao, RTC EDs Venkateshwar Rao and Yadagiri.