The stage is set for a bus fare hike in Telangana. The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is likely to increase bus fares by 25 to 30 paise per kilometre citing rise in diesel prices and continued losses.
The proposal to revise the fares was taken up by transport minister P Ajay Kumar on Sunday with TSRTC chairman Bajireddy Goverdhan, managing director VC Sajjanar and other officials. A decision on the proposal will be taken by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
According to sources, the TSRTC is incurring huge revenue losses every year. So, the hike will help reduce the revenue loss to some extent.
The TSRTC is reeling under annual losses of Rs 750 crore to Rs 1,000 crore. It is estimated to have suffered losses of Rs 3,000 crore since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out last year.
The additional expenditure being incurred by the TSRTC every year due to the increase in diesel prices and other costs is estimated to be around Rs 600 crore. The revenue loss per month in Hyderabad alone is estimated to be Rs 90 crore.
Sources said chief minister Rao had decided to hike the RTC bus fare and power tariff during a meeting on September 21. The hike was reportedly put on hold due to the bypoll in Huzurabad. With the completion of the bypoll, the state government’s decision is now set to be announced soon.
The government had first considered raising the bus fare in 2020, but deferred the decision due to COVID-19. Though the diesel prices were up by Rs 22 per litre in the last two-and-a-half years, the price is down by Rs 10 now due to the slash in excise duty by the central government.
Goverdhan told reporters that TSRTC had already submitted its proposal for fare hike to the minister but has now amended the same in view of last week’s drop in diesel prices.
The TSRTC chairman said while framing the revised proposal, they ensured that the common man is not overburdened by the hike.
Goverdhan said they discussed the proposed fare hike keeping in view the hike affected by neighbouring States but assured that the increase in TSRTC fares will not be huge. He said the TSRTC will remain in losses even after the hike.
The proposal is reportedly to increase the fare by 25 paise per km for Palle Velugu (rural) services and 30 paise per km for Express and higher services. A similar hike is likely for the city services.
The earlier proposal was to increase the fare by 40 paise per km.