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Security plans at bus stations go for a toss

Highlights

All the grand plans of APSRTC of augmenting its fleet and ramping up security arrangements in bus stations seem to be fading away, thanks to the current financial crunch that has become hard to defend for an organisation that set benchmarks.

Financial crunch cited as the main reason

Md. Nizamuddin

Hyderabad: All the grand plans of APSRTC of augmenting its fleet and ramping up security arrangements in bus stations seem to be fading away, thanks to the current financial crunch that has become hard to defend for an organisation that set benchmarks.

The Corporation, which has installed 34 CCTV cameras in MGBS after the Dilsukhnagar blasts had plans to install 60 CCTV cameras in smaller stations in the city. Some of the busy stations include Charminar bus station, Rathifile, ECIL Commuter Amenity Centres, Koti, Patancheru, Central Bus Station (Gowliguda), Dilsukhnagar bus station and Jubilee Bus Station.

Besides this, the security staff was to be provided with 39 hand-held detectors for random checks at the entry points, while doubling the number of security personnel in the stations.

No new buses this year

Augmenting the current fleet of about 20,000 buses with more 1,400 more buses under first phase of JNNURM was on the cards of the Corporation until the Samaikhyandhra agitation, crippling services and completely affecting the revenue of corporation. Earlier in the financial year 2010-11, it procured 1,540 luxury buses under JNNURM phase-I. Some 1,000 buses were sent to Hyderabad, the remaining other major cities like Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati. The APSRTC, which planned to design and build its own buses, had sought permission from the JNNURM in the recent months. Total cost for 1,400 buses was estimated at Rs.380 crore. About 15 per cent of the buses were planned to be decommissioned owing to their condition, the revenue generated would support this plan. But the current situation has undermined the plans affecting the Corporation to set up a unit, for designing the bodies at Miyapur.

With an estimated loss of Rs.23 crore each day, during this month, regular meetings are being held between the Minister for Transport Botcha Satyanarayana and higher officials who now ponder over worsening situation. Besides this, the Minister is also holding meeting with Union leaders to convince them for suspending the agitation.

Some officials, worried about the situation feel that the Corporation is ‘limping’. While some others point out that it is suffering from ill-health. “All the management now thinking is about how to bring the organisation back on tracks. It was in good times, we thought of new buses”, says an official.

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