RTC to hire 998 buses for better services
- MD and vice-chairman Dwaraka Tirumala Rao criticises a section of media for carrying out false campaign on hiring of buses saying this is not a new practice but has been in vogue since 1979
- Asserting that no employee will be removed from the job, he points out that RTC employees have been merged with the govt
- States that interests of passengers are paramount to the corporation
Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) managing director and vice-chairman Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said the RTC had invited tenders to hire 998 buses in the state. He said the objective of operating hired buses is to provide better services to the passengers.
Addressing a press conference at the RTC house here on Wednesday, Tirumala Rao said a section of media was carrying out misinformation campaign against the corporation regarding hiring of buses and reminded that the RTC had been operating the hire services since 1979. Of the 998 hired buses, 16 are AC buses, 62 are non AC sleeper buses. For the first time, the RTC is hiring AC buses. He said the corporation lost income due to Covid and is not in a position to buy new buses.
He asserted that hiring of buses was only to provide more services to the people. "People's interests are the top priority of the APSRTC," he said.
He said the hire bus owners take care of payment of salaries and the buses. The RTC will take care of operating buses, timings and routes. He made it clear there is no threat to the RTC employees with increasing hired bus services. He said old hired buses will be replaced by new hired buses. Hiring buses will reduce the burden on the RTC, he added.
The MD made it clear the RTC will not sack any employee. He recalled that the government has merged the RTC with the government and 52,000 RTC employees have become government employees.
He said RTC staff in Maharashtra last year staged agitation for many months demanding merger of the RTC with the government and Karnataka RTC staff also did the same but both the governments refused their demand.
Tirumala Rao said the RTC has repaid Rs 1,685 crore loans after the public transport department was formed and RTC staff were merged with the government. Referring to the penalty to be levied on hired buses, he said the RTC has decided to collect Rs 3,000 penalty per day for not operating the buses and added that the decision was taken to discourage strike by the hired bus owners. The RTC owns around 8,900 buses and operating 2,264 hired buses. Now, 998 more hired buses will be added to the fleet.