Hyderabad: The cash-strapped TSRTC is falling into a debt trap as the corporation has been leasing out its valuable land properties. For instance, Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) in Secunderabad is under a mortgage, on a debt of Rs 650 crore. Non-release of dues from the State government, high tax on diesel and rising fuel price are taking a toll on the TSRTC. The BJP submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Tamilisai Soundararajan. The saffron party has expressed concerns over the leasing out of Rs 80,000 crore RTC properties to close associates of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
In addition to Jubilee bus station, other properties include Uppal workshop (Rs 175cr), Barkatpura bus depot (Rs 45cr), Hayathnagar (Rs 100cr), Karimnagar workshop (Rs 450cr) and other lands (Rs 175cr) under the mortgage.
Hence, TSRTC had no option other than mortgage to take out bank loans. The total debt load on RTC is Rs 2,445 crore, including Rs1,595 crore from banks and Rs 850crore with government security. The dues to the Employee PF cooperative credit society are to the tune of Rs 1,400 crore. To ease out the cash flow situation, TSRTC is resorting to going for another round of debt, raising up to Rs 750crore. The interest component on the Rs 2,455 crore debt is estimated to be Rs 80 lakh per day approximately Rs 290 crore annually.
"The dues from the state government towards several types of concessions and subsidies are Rs 700 crore. If the state government honours its commitment on concessions and subsidies towards several sections of the society, it'll be a breather for ailing TSRTC. The State government seems to be keeping TSRTC under a debt burden and suffer from a cash flow problem. Citing this reason, the TRS government is comfortably leasing out the valuable properties to private organisations and individuals," said a senior JAC leader.
Protect RTC properties, BJP urges Governor
While the strike is going on, the Chief Minister is preparing the ground for encroaching the properties of the road transport corporation, said the BJP.
BJP-Telangana unit president Dr Laxman along with senior party leaders met Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and submitted a memorandum.
"The RTC properties worth Rs 80,000 crores are set for leasing to KCR's close associates. The TRS government has prepared plans to lease the RTC properties in prime locations in the twin cities and districts. Sixty per cent of the RTC revenues will be going to the service providers. Committee of Finance Experts has recommended to the state government that a private role shouldn't be there in the RTC,” said Dr Laxman.
Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan pondered over how 54 petrol and diesel bunks have been allocated to one individual, and there was non-payment of salary for September to RTC employees.
MLC N Ramachander Rao, general secretary Chinta Samba Murthy, senior leader Indrasena Reddy, Mahila Morcha president Akula Vijaya, and other leaders, Prakash Reddy and Subhash met the Governor.
Dr Laxman further briefed the Governor about the extension of Dasara holidays and how it's affecting the academic schedule. Laxman expressed concerns over the outcome of the injustice done to 48,000 RTC employees.
"The TRS government is planning to lease out the 1,500 acres of TSRTC properties worth Rs 80,000 crore to close associates of KCR. 10 acres of land at RTC X roads in the twin cities, four acres worth Rs 76 crore at Hunter Road in Hanmakonda and 66 acres in Karimnagar have already been leased out to TRS leaders," said Dr Laxman in the memorandum submitted to the Governor.