Hyderabad: A bright vintage red bus sits outside the headquarters of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) in Chikkadpally. This bus, albeit small, is the oldest bus in the state and is older than Independent India.
Fondly known as the Deccan Queen, the bus was manufactured 90 years ago and is a heritage asset of the Nizam State Rail and Road Transport Department (NSR-RTD). "The bus was manufactured by Albion Motors of Glasgow, UK," said V.C Sajjanar, TSRTC managing director.
RTC in Telangana was first established as NSR-RTD (Nizam State Rail & Road Transport Department), a wing of Nizam State Railway in the erstwhile Hyderabad State, in 1932 with 27 buses and 166 employees. Deccan Queen was part of this first fleet of buses. It is the only bus that survived the fit of time and is now a heritage asset of TSRTC. It had a seating capacity of 19 (including the driver and conductor) and was commissioned on 18 April 1932.
"The bus signifies the importance of road transport and buses. As the 75th Independence Day approached, it is an honor for TSRTC to have a bus that's older than both the new state and independent India," Mr. Sajjanar said. He said the bus is cleaned and repainted when necessary and all necessary repairs are looked after by the TSRTC staff. "At TSRTC, we are working towards making the Deccan Queen work every day. We want to see the majestic bus on the roads again. Hopefully, that happens soon," he added.
The chassis number of the bus is 30024. A and engine number is 4DS, 730/16. The tires of the Deccan Queen are relatively smaller. The front tires are size is 7.00X20 and the rear tires are size 9.00X20
TSRTC currently has 97 depots and employs close to 48,000 people throughout the state. The buses now are larger and have a higher seating capacity.