The Telangana government on Thursday proposed an allocation of Rs 3,000 crore in its Budget 2021-22 towards the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). Under this, Rs 1,500 crore is proposed towards assistance to the debt-ridden department and another Rs 1,500 crore towards guarantees to the loans raised by the corporation.
Finance Minister T Harish Rao said that the government is extending a helping hand to the TSRTC from time to time, to ensure better transport facilities to people.
The state government said that the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel and increase in the cess by the Union government had further burdened the RTC which is already in financial stress. Despite these setbacks the government is providing better salaries to TSRTC employees and taking initiatives to strengthen the corporation, the Minister said.
The Minister said that cargo parcel services introduced by the government during the pandemic when the public bus service was suspended is yielding good results. To address the grievances of the employees, an Employees’ Board is constituted and all concerns are being heard, he said.
According to a recent report in The Hindu, the TSRTC is facing a huge loss due to a decrease in earnings per kilometre, poor occupancy and fuel hike. According to the report, the loss incurred by the corporation between April 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 was over Rs 400 crore, which increased to Rs 1,950 crore on the same date in the following year. It was also only two weeks before the Budget that TSRTC employees were paid their pending salaries.
In October 2019, a few months before the pandemic, over 48,000 employees of the TSRTC had gone on a 52-day strike with a list of 26 demands. Several employees had died during the strike and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao intervened to break the impasse by deciding to allot Rs 100 crore at the time to the RTC, to temporarily mitigate losses.
Meanwhile, the government has also allocated Rs 1000 crore towards Hyderabad Metro Rail. Along with it, an amount of Rs 250 crore is also proposed for providing drinking water to newly formed colonies within the Outer Ring Road (ORR) in the city.
The state government has also set aside an amount of Rs 200 crore in the Budget estimates 2021-22 for the restoration of the Musi river and for the beautification of the Musi riverfront.