September 22, 2021 12:26:34 pm
Setting the stage for a hike in bus fare and power tariff in Telangana, state Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday directed Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar and Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy to prepare and submit necessary proposals for discussion in the next Cabinet meeting to bail out the cash-strapped Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and the power generation corporations.
During a review meeting, the Chief Minister lamented that the TSRTC could not recover from losses due to Covid-19 and hike in prices of petrol and diesel, even though strong measures were initiated two years ago to put the corporation back on track. He assured that the government would support the corporation by making all necessary efforts, according to a press statement from the CMO.
The Transport Minister, along with the TSRTC chairman and its managing director, informed the CM that the government had announced in the Legislative Assembly in March 2020 that the RTC bus fares would be increased but it did not implement the increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reiterating the need for a hike in bus fares, they informed the CM that RTC had to bear an additional loss of Rs 550 crore since diesel prices were hiked by Rs 22 per litre in the last 18 months. The inflation in prices of spare parts, tyres, etc has further pushed the corporation into losses. Because of these increased costs, the RTC is burdened with an additional expense of Rs 600 crore, they said. Further, according to them, termination of services during the pandemic months resulted in RTC losing revenue of Rs 3,000 crore. The losses incurred by the Hyderabad zone alone was Rs 90 crore per month, they said, adding that 97 depots of RTC across the state were operating in losses.
According to the note, they clarified to the CM that a hike in bus fares was the only option for the RTC to come out of the financial crisis while alternative sources of revenue need to be explored.
During the same meeting, Energy Minister Jagadeesh Reddy and CMD of Transco and Genco, D Prabhakar Rao informed the CM that the electricity sector too, like all other sectors, has suffered heavy losses due to the pandemic. They said electricity charges have not been hiked in the state for the past six years and that there was no option left but hike charges to put the power sector back on track.
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