Srinagar- After running in losses for decades due to mismanagement and financial discrepancies, the government-run Road Transport Corporation (JKRTC) is finally scripting a success story by generating daily revenue of Rs 18 lakh per day in the Union Territory.
An official told Kashmir Observer that the corporation which was on ventilator because of huge losses is getting a new lease of life as the government has taken several steps to revive it. Post abrogation of Article 370, the government constituted a high-level committee to examine alternative models and options for the revival of corporation.
Rakesh Kumar Srangal, Managing Director JKRTC, told Kashmir Observer that the government is very serious in reviving the corporation and to further expand its reach with an aim to recover the losses suffered by the state exchequer.
The MD said the corporation has included a fleet of 1000 vehicles to its kitty which comprises 300 new buses and equal number of trucks.
According to data, shared with the Kashmir Observer, the corporation has a total strength of 1000 vehicles —550 passenger buses and 450 trucks and 120 district services.
It further reveals that the JKRTC operates over 120 routes in different districts of the Kashmir Valley. A total number of 100 tourist service divisions have been launched.
The corporation offers transport services on Srinagar to Jammu, Srinagar to Leh Srinagar to Kargil and Srinagar to New Delhi routes, besides inter-district services for Poonch, Rajouri and Srinagar.
Habibullah Reshi, Deputy General Manager JKRTC told Kashmir Observer that the corporation has also launched 40 e-buses in the UT with 20 each for Kashmir and Jammu.
He said that the electric buses project started under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) initiative across India, to promote the culture of electric vehicles in India.
He further said that electric buses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a real-time tracking system, in both capital cities.
Reshi told Kashmir Observer that there are 20 routes for the corporation to be operated in the city and the department has also launched a special fleet of 5 buses for ladies in Srinagar city.
Reshi said they have a manpower of over 1900 employees, including 300 on consolidated bases.
Pertinently, the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report in 2021 revealed that the Government-run Corporation has suffered a shortfall of Rs. 165.22 crore.
The report said that the company has witnessed reverse growth in the last five years. It states that even though 20 per cent ‘Paid up Share Capital’ increased from Rs 204.74 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 245.57 crore in 2018-19, JKRTC faced a 33 percent increase in accumulated losses from Rs 1,229.56 crore to Rs 1,639.01 crore which shows that public funds infused by the government were not efficiently used by officials.
However the UT administration is pushing more money and has made a plan to make the once ‘bankrupt’ corporation a profitable enterprise, the officials said.
Srangal told Kashmir Observer that since the corporation came into existence, no new fleet was added, rather the corporation was being run on old buses.
“But in 2020, the government started new initiatives to review it. We have received a new fleet of buses and 56 new buses will arrive in the month of September,” Sangal said.
He further added that UT’s transport corporation is the only corporation in the country that is running cargo buses also.
“The purchase of over 96 new trucks is also in the pipeline and we will get them this year only,” Srangal said, adding that the “New fleet has revived the lost credibility of the corporation. We’re hopeful that we will start earning profit,”
He said that the JKRTC is earning a good revenue from the trucks being used by the department of Food Civil Supplies and Public Distribution for supplies.
Apart from this the department has also added many semi-deluxe buses, and sleeper coaches to the fleet.
The MD said the purpose of reviewing the corporation seems to be fulfilled.
He further said that the government is minimising the human intervention of the employees against whom regular complaints of corruption surface.
“Everything will go online from booking tickets and tracking the movement of crew members,” Srangal added.
To overcome the shortage of staff, he said that the government will soon start a recruitment drive in the UT.
An official from the corporation said that revenue of Rs 18 lakh per day is generated from the twin divisions of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Rs 10 lakh is being generated from Kashmir Valley while Rs 8 lakh from Jammu province,” the official said, adding that they disburse an amount of Rs 4 crore and Rs 75 lakh per month as salary to the employees.
- No Of Vehicles: 1000
- Passenger buses: 550
- Trucks: 450
- District services: 120
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