Corporation still sustains losses due to diesel and operational costs
The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation’s Greater Hyderabad Zone (GHZ) has recorded a year-on-year increase in occupancy ratio, earnings per kilometre and vehicle utilisation. But despite this, it continues to face losses due to high diesel prices and operational costs.
According to official figures, despite the transport juggernaut incurring losses across the State, the GHZ has seen an increase of 3% in occupancy ratio since financial year 2014-15. Officials stated that efforts are on to increase productivity and earnings per kilometre to reduce the impact of losses which, this year, stand at a little over ₹ 11.50 per kilometre.
“The earnings per kilometre of our fleet has increased from ₹ 30.45 in FY 2014-15 to ₹33.88 this year. If you take a look at the parameters, we are doing much more with fewer resources. Our drivers and conductors are working really hard,” a senior TSRTC official said.
He pointed out that the TSRTC has at its disposal nearly half the number of buses of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, which operates around 6,500 buses on around 2,200 routes. Of the TSRTC’s fleet of around 10,500 buses, the GHZ’s fleet comprises 3,800 buses.
However, the corporation, and in turn the GHZ, has been sustaining losses on account of increasing diesel price. Speaking to The Hindu, officials stated that this is the principal problem. “When the diesel prices are increasing rapidly, the only way to try to minimise losses is to increase efficiency and cut costs. This, however, can be done only to a certain extent,” an official said.
Data shows that the government has not fully spent funds allocated to the TSRTC. As per information obtained by a bus enthusiast, the TSRTC has been receiving a fraction of funds earmarked for procuring buses. The release of funds to cover operational costs too were lower. Case in point: in FY 2017-2018, only ₹231.20 crore out of budget estimates of ₹ 334.72 crore was released.
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