HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is all set to increase fares across routes. Although, it has not given any clarity on the percentage of hike or from when it would be introduced, the cabinet discussing the move and indications from the corporation’s heads make it evident that the commuters are being warmed up for the hike.
The government has often stated that the rise in prices of fuel and spare parts and the lockdown had pushed the organisation into further losses.
According to TSRTC data, the occupancy rate as of August 21 is 61.69 per cent, while 8,170 buses from a fleet of 9,185 are being used. TSRTC operated 10,460 buses from 97 depots spread over three zones before the first lockdown.
The state-owned corporation has a budgetary allocation of Rs 3,000 crore in this fiscal. The last fare hike was in December 2019, when there was an increase of 20 paise per kilometre and the minimum fare was doubled to Rs 10.
TSRTC’s newly appointed managing director V.C. Sajjanar defended the move by stating that it was only because of the hike in prices of fuel, lubricants, tyres and spare parts that the corporation was compelled to contemplate such a move.
“Even though we are not comfortable in further burdening the common man, this is the only option left for us to save the entity. We are yet to get any clarity on it, though,” he said.
Social activist Kavula Saraswati Rao said “this will add to the woes of the people, who have been crushed by Covid. Buses are used by petty traders, and those who sell fruits, flowers and vegetables in baskets, the daily-wage workers and private employees. Many of those who lost their jobs will be making trips in search of employment.”
She added “the government should instead stop spending on fancy buildings, landscape beautification and celebrations. Salaries of the people’s representative should be slashed, as it has happened to a majority of employees in the private sector. Why burden the commuters with such a fare hike.”