Hyderabad: Following the Chief Minister, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy’s directions, the A.P.S.R.T.C. had decided to go for only a marginal hike in bus fares in spite of steep hike in the prices of diesel. The Chief Minister also ruled out automatic hike in RTC fares whenever diesel prices are hiked. Mr Reddy said RTC buses are commuted by common man and there should not be parallel hike in bus fares with the increase in diesel prices.
More than 40% of passengers travel up to 20 km in Pallevelugu services and fares have not been increased to help these common people. Fares up to 10 km in all types of city services were also not hiked to help the common man. It was decided not to hike fares of Sheetal in city services. Fares in District Ordinary services up to 20 km have not been hiked. Up to 40 km, the hike will be just Re 1 (per stage of 5 km) and up to 60 km, the increase in fares will be only Rs 2 (per stage of 5 km).
6,000 NEW BUSES TO JOIN FLEET
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister agreed to the proposal of APSRTC to buy 6,000 new buses and sanctioned Rs 200 crores towards this and Rs 100 crores have already been released. The new buses will replace the very old ones and will augment the district and city services. The diesel prices were hiked three times in the recent years with a total impact of Rs 743.14 crores. The APSRTC consumes 60 crore liters of HSD oil annually. The Chief Minister wanted the RTC to increase its occupancy rate, timing and other service facilities to augment its earnings. The RTC, it may be stated here, decided not to hike the minimum fares in Pallevelugu (mostly in rural areas), Express, Deluxe, Super Luxury, Garuda and all types of City services. There is also no increase in the tariff for Students bus passes.
In City Ordinary, Metro Express and Metro Delux services, taking into consideration the common man, there is no hike for the first 10 km and up to next 30 Km (till 40 km) the hike is only Rs 2 (per every stage of 2 km). This means that for 80% of the passengers, the fare hike is only marginal.
A comparative study with the neighbouring States shows that the fare structure is higher in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Even after the hike, the fare is only 50 paise per km in Andhra Pradesh, while it is 80 paise in Maharashtra in ordinary services, while in Express in APSRTC it is 62 paise per km., in MSRTC it is 80 paise and in Karnataka it is 65.70 paise, in Luxury while the fare is 70 paise per km in APSRTC, it is 95.83 paise in MSRTC and 74.20 paise in Karnataka RTC. While the fare for Super Luxury per km is 82 paise, it is 107 paise in MSRTC and 102 paise in Karnataka RTC and in Garuda services the fare is 140 paise per km in APSRTC, it is 198 paise per km in MSRTC and 143 paise in Karnataka RTC.
The APSRTC MD told the Chief Minister that it has bagged Transport Minister’s Trophy and cash award from Government of India (Road Transport and Highways) for achieving the lowest accident rate in mofussil category among all the State Transport Undertakings in the country. APSRTC is also far above the national average in fleet utilisation, vehicle utilisation, minimum breakdown rate, less accident rate, tyre life, employee productivity and so on. The RTC carries 1.46 crore passengers per day and 83 lakh bus km are operated everyday. There are 1,22,508 employees and a total number of villages connected by RTC services are 23,388 in the State and there are 773 bus stations and 1,881 bus shelters and 210 bus depots.