Lockdown leaves Rs 1,000 crore hole in transport corporations’ kitty

With the public transport vehicles going off the road due to the lockdown, seven State Transport Corporations, including Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC), together have incurred a revenue loss to the tune of over Rs 1,000 crore.
Lockdown leaves Rs 1,000 crore hole in transport corporations’ kitty

Chennai

Sources in the transport corporations said the daily loss in terms of the ticket fares would run into over Rs 25 crore a day for all the seven corporations. The bus services of the transport corporation were suspended from March 23 evening as part of the restrictions imposed to check the coronavirus pandemic.
The seven corporations, including Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Villupuram, Salem, Coimbatore, Kumbakonam and Madurai, have a fleet strength of about 21,500 buses and operate around 20,000 buses in various routes across the state and to the neighbouring states. In Chennai, MTC, with over 3,600 buses, operates in about 670 routes.
An official of the state transport corporation said the resumption of the bus services would pose a serious financial challenge for the corporation. “Already the cost of operation for the corporation buses is much higher than earning from the ticket fares.
In the post-lockdown period, the buses should be operated maintaining physical distancing norms. It means lesser number of passengers on each bus. It would severely impact the revenue of the corporation. Unless the government extends financial support to overcome the losses, the corporation’s losses would mount,” the official said.
The official said that being a public sector undertaking, the corporation has no other option but to run the buses. “It will also incur additional expenditure over maintenance, providing safety gears to its employees and disinfecting the buses and offices,” he added.

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