Kadapa: With the Corona crisis hitting its operations drastically, the RTC is finding a way to stay afloat by managing its cargo service. It is turning some of its fleet into cargo buses to cater to the needs of the public to ferry their merchandise. Though freight revenue slid since the imposition of lockdown on May 5, it is still higher than passenger services.
As RTC buses can ply only from 6 am to 12 noon, revenue from passenger services has fallen sharply. Given this, RTC is pinning hopes on freight services. Before the lockdown, freight revenue used to be over Rs 2 lakh a day, but now it is now hovering over Rs 90,000 per day. Yet, at many depots, this is more than that the passenger buses generate.
At present, there are a total of 13 booking points in Kadapa RTC Cargo Region. There is a good demand for freight service to Hyderabad, Tirupati, Anantapur and other places. Special RTC goods transport vehicles are currently operating in the Kadapa region. Depot Goods Transport (DGT) operates daily services from Kadapa to Tirupati, Anantapur, Hyderabad and BHEL.
Summer is generally a good time for freight. However the transport service which was on a smooth ride was hobbled by the Corona second wave. As it was reaching the goods to destinations such as Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai within 24 hours, the service was in good demand. But the lockdown dealt a huge blow to the freight operations now.
RTC cargo division commercial manager Dharmavarapu Srinivasulu said that the Kadapa region earned Rs 70.60 lakh in March, Rs 60.17 lakh in April and over Rs 30 lakh in May through goods transport. Most of the drugs, PPE kits, mangoes, masks, seeds, pulses, books and spare parts for automobiles were being transported in the current season, he said.
Currently, the RTC is hardly generating a revenue of Rs 90,000 per day. It has suspended large-scale services in the district as part of precautionary measures ahead of the Corona surge. Bus services now run only from 6 am to 12 noon. As a result, not even 20 per cent of the buses are running. There are 8 RTC depots and a fleet of around 800 buses in Kadapa region, of which only around 240 buses are plying daily.