Guess who profited on shutdown days?
Two ailing state transport undertakings—Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) and the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC)— have raked in big profits over the three-day shutdown by private bus operators.kolkata Updated: Sep 22, 2012 16:10 IST
Two ailing state transport undertakings—Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) and the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC)— have raked in big profits over the three-day shutdown by private bus operators.
An estimated 35,000 private buses in the city were off the roads, with the operators demanding a fare hike in the wake of the increase in the price of diesel by the Centre.
However, even as private buses continue to be grounded, the twin state-run transport undertakings have reportedly made a killing, logging in impressive and hitherto unprecedented returns of R35 lakh over the shutdown days.
“We have plied around 700 buses from the time the private bus operators called for a state-wide strike. We have registered a profit of around
R16 lakh from the time the private buses went off the roads on September 17. We normally ply 450 buses everyday and rake in revenues of around R16 to R17 lakh,” a senior member of the CSTC managing board told HT.
“However, owing to the transport shutdown coinciding with the Bharat bandh on Thursday, our revenue earnings have come down to around R12 lakh. Though we plied around 700 buses, most ran empty,” the CSTC managing board member told HT.
“We have been able to generate net revenues worth R18 lakh after putting out our entire fleet of buses and trams over the three-day strike by private bus operators. This is unprecedented since our company hasn’t ever registered such impressive scale of revenues over a span of three days. On any given day, we rake in no more that around R11 lakh from our transport fleet,” a senior traffic operations officer of CTC told HT.
The five state transport undertakings had lately fallen into hard times and registered a loss in excess of R30 lakh in the wake of the last transport shutdown in February. With the state coffers nearly ringing empty, the Trinamool Congress-led government hasn’t yet been able to cough up the August salary of around 18,000 employees across five transport undertakings.
“We incurred heavy losses earlier, as we put out around 1200 buses but they failed to draw enough passengers. Plying of more buses on shutdown days can only mean more losses to the government, which has any ways been struggling to pay our salaries since December 2011. Hence, we didn’t put out our entire fleet on Thursday and ran around 800 state buses,” a senior official in the state transport department at Writers’ told HT.