Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Loss-making NWKRTC seeks sops

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hubli/Loss-making-NWKRTC-seeks-sops/articleshow/4548751.cms

HUBLI: In a bid to revive the loss-making North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), the public sector unit will write to the state government seeking road tax exemption, said Mallikarjun Sahukar after taking charge as the new chairman of NWKRTC on Monday. He said every year, the corporation is paying road tax to the tune of Rs 50 crore. "If this is exempted, the saved amount could be diverted to other aspects to strengthen the organization.

It has suffered a loss of Rs 264 crore in the last six years," he added. In spite of NWKRTC suffering losses, no bus route will be cancelled, he clarified. "Service to the people is more important for us and not profit," he said when asked about the recommendations to cancel routes that earn no profit. He said that he needs some time to fully know the organization's functioning and to draw measures for its revival. "Emphasis will be given to safe journey of passengers, hygiene and clean drinking water in bus stations," he added. 600 new buses Sahukar said for 2009-10, the NWKRTC has drawn an action plan to add 600 more buses at a cost of Rs 95.20 crore to its fleet.

The action plan also intends to introduce 250 new bus routes, taking the total to 4750 by 2009-end. NWKRTC aims for a profit of Rs 40.38 crore in this fiscal year. CBT to go the Swiss way Sahukar said the City Bus Terminal (CBT) in Hubli would be developed on Swiss model on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis at a cost of Rs 8 crore. The Old Bus Stand in Hubli and the one in Belgaum would also be upgraded with commercial complexes and modern facilities at Rs 40 crore each on PPP basis. Student bus passes Sahukar said the students can get concessional bus passes in their respective schools from this year.

This will help students get passes easily, who otherwise would have to wait in queues at bus stops. Action against private buses The new NWKRTC chairman said that he needs at least three months to take action against private buses for picking up passengers from near Old Bus Stand here. "I need to discuss with the RTO and the police before proceeding in this regard," he said, when reminded about the rule that no private buses should be allowed to pick up passengers near KSRTC bus terminals.

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