The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation on Tuesday added 300 new buses including luxurious Mercedes Benz and Volvo to its huge fleet of over 22,000 buses.
Speaking on the occasion, Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana said that the new buses would help in reducing the pollution levels on the city roads. He said that the RTC was planning to introduce 350 CNG buses during the current financial year. Of them, 100 buses have been procured which are BS-III and IV compliant with low emission levels. Initially, the CNG buses would be operated from Medchal, Hakimpet and Cantonment depots where CNG is being supplied by the Bhagyanagar Gas Limited through cascades. He said more CNG depots would be started as and when required.
Botsa said that usually a bus becomes obsolete after it runs 12 lakh kilometres. However, there are nearly 6,000 RTC buses which have run about 15-16 lakh kilometres and needed to be scrapped. He said these buses would be replaced with 300 new buses every month.
The Transport Minister admitted that the RTC’s financial crisis have deepened due to the general strike which lasted for 27 days. However, he hoped that the corporation would be able to overcome the crisis soon and all the employees would benefit once the RTC starts running into profits.
Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayana Reddy announced that that in view of the financial crisis that the RTC has been facing the government has decided to forgo Rs 450 crore towards the Motor Vehicle Tax due from the corporation. He said so far the government has released Rs 150 crore for the procurement of new buses and another Rs 50 crore crore would be released soon.
Anam announced that the State Government would sanction budget for the purchase of 4,000 new buses this fiscal while funds would be provided for the purchase of another 2,000 buses next year. He also assured that the State Government would extend all possible help to the RTC in overcoming the financial crisis.
RTC chairman M Satyanarayana Rao, who flagged off the first bus on Tuesday, hoped that the RTC management would overcome the crisis through effective planning and execution.
RTC MD B Prasad Rao, Secunderabad MP M Anjan Kumar Yadav and GHMC Mayor Banda Karthika Reddy were also present on the occasion. (INN)