MSRTC losses now Rs 6.5k cr, fuel hike increasing the hit: Maha minister

Aurangabad: The losses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) have reached Rs 6,500 crore and the recent rise in fuel prices was adding Rs 2 crore per day to the losses, state transport minister Anil Parab said on Friday.

On a visit here to inspect two bus stations and a regional workshop of the state-run undertaking, Parab told PTI that the loss figure of Rs 6,500 crore included Rs 2,750 crore brought about by the coronavirus outbreak and the resultant lockdown.

"To decrease the losses, we have started a goods transport service and have deployed 1,100 buses for it, which will soon be increased to 2,200 in the next 6 months. The rise in fuel prices is increasing the loss by Rs 2 crore per day. As of now we have no proposal to increase ticket prices. A ticket hike is one of the options we can think of," the minister said.

Parab, a senior Shiv Sena leader, also said MSRTC had signed an agreement with an oil marketing firm under which some 30 fuel pumps of the undertaking will be be open for common citizens.

"There is also a plan to open up our bus building workshops to private agencies. We will provide tyre remoulding services to other government agencies. The state government had given MSRTC Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 600 crore in two tranches but the majority of the funds was used to pay staff salaries," Parab claimed.

He said MSRTC had placed orders for 150 electric buses, which may be deployed on routes that are 250 to 400 kilometres long, while a committee is studying the setting up of charging station infrastructure.

The initial choices for electric bus deployment are Mumbai-Aurangabad, Pune-Aurangabad, Nasik-Pune, Nasik-Mumbai routes, the minister said.

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