PRTC plans land sale route to plug deficit | punjab | Hindustan Times
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PRTC plans land sale route to plug deficit

punjab Updated: May 09, 2012 18:10 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva

Plagued with a deficit of more than `220 crore, Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) is mulling sale of its private properties across the state to revive itself.

The PRTC owns properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees in the form of bus stands, depots and workshops in the state.

Once the bus stands in Bathinda and Bhudlada are shifted to the new complexes, which at present are under construction, the PRTC would be free to sell the other properties.

In Bathinda, the current complex of bus stand, workshop and depot situated in the heart of the city is on 13 acres, whose present market value is at least `300 crore.

The new bus stand in Bathinda being developed by Bathinda Improvement Trust will be constructed in Bibi Wala area.

"If we sell the land in Bathinda, PRTC will not only be able to plug its operational deficit, but also be able to pay arrears of the employees pending for several years," managing director DPS Kharbanda said. "We were discussing the proposal with the government to auction the land once it gets free."

This would be the sensible way to revive the PRTC, which was the backbone of rural bus services, said Kharbanda, who took over as MD last month.

According to official figures, PRTC's operational loss is around `11 crore while it owes `60 crore to banks in loans. Also, it needs to pay `40 crore in the form of pension and arrears to employees.

The MD said in the last one month PRTC's daily income had risen from `57 lakh to `64 lakh. For the next month district general managers of eight depots had been ordered to put in their best to achieve the figure of `81.3 lakh per day.

This month, after receiving `17 crore out of the pending `64 crore from several departments, including the police and technical education department, to which the PRTC provides concession or free-of-cost travel service, the public transport system released pension for retired employees and also repaired 50 buses.