While its passenger service was impacted by coronavirus-induced restrictions, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has earned a revenue of Rs 56 crore from its freight service in the first year.
Its fleet of 1,150 trucks transported over seven lakh tons of goods since the launch of the service on May 21, 2020, said the corporation in a release on Thursday.
MSRTC, one of the biggest public bus services in the country with more than 17,000 buses, recently branded its freight service as `Mahacargo'.
Its trucks clocked 1.40 crore km in the last year.
Last year, when the pandemic and lockdown put brakes on its bus operations, the cash-strapped corporation explored other sources of revenue and started a freight service.
"Strict restrictions due to the pandemic affected the transportation of essential commodities as well as other goods (by private carriers). To overcome this situation, the MSRTC decided to make its debut in the freight sector," the release said.
Besides mixed goods such as mangos, agricultural produce, essential commodities and stationery, Mahacargo also transports bulk goods like foodgrains for the public distribution system, seeds and freight for the government as well as private companies.
MSRTC trucks were even used for the transportation of electronic voting machines during elections.
The release claimed that MSRTC freight service is more affordable than private transporters.
The corporation has set itself a revenue target of Rs 100 crore from the freight business in the next year.
The state cabinet recently decided to assign 25 per cent of the government freight business to the corporation.