Once the pride of the state, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has lost a whopping 11.32 million passengers and consequently accumulated losses of Rs.1,934 crore last year, a Right to Information query has revealed.
RTI activist Anil Galgali sought details on the performance of the MSRTC on the passengers using its buses, fare charges and the expenses.
MSRTC deputy general manager S.D. Mainhalikar informed him that in 2014-2015, around 245,60,33,000 passengers travelled by ST buses compared to 256,60,65,000 during the previous year — a staggering decline of 11,32,00,000 in just a year.
In contrast, the corporation earned Rs.25.94 per km in 2013-2014 against an expenditure of Rs.35.22 per km. The expense shot up to Rs.36.85 in 2014-2015 against an income of Rs.27.57 per km.
The fleet of state-run buses logged 208,48,55,000 km in 2014-2015 compared to 204,65,74,000 km the previous year.
While the corporation’s total expenditure stood at Rs.5748,11,02,000 in 2013-2014, it increased Rs.7682,88,83,000 this year, adding to the mountain of losses, Galgali pointed out.
Last year, the accumulated loss stood at Rs.1899,02,65,000, which has grown to Rs.1934,77,81,000, notching an increase of Rs.35,75,16,000.
This year, the total income was Rs.5308,53,85,000 against an expenditure of Rs.7207,56,50,000.
Galgali urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to come up with a concrete action plan to revive and save the MSRTC from dying by reducing passenger taxes on the lines of Gujarat and Karnataka.
“The CM must give strict instructions to monitor and rein in MSRTC’s ever-growing expenses, especially since the bureaucrats seem to be taking no steps in this direction,” Galgali told IANS.
“Some level of accountability fixing on the concerned officials would help MSRTC which serves the poorest of poor in the remotest corners of the state,” he added.
On the steep decline in just one year, Galgali said this could be due to many private operators exploiting MSRTC’s shortcomings by providing convenient connections, higher comfort and cleanliness levels, options of ordinary, deluxe and air-conditioned services with efficiency to the passengers.