RTC strike takes ‘toll’ on NHAI revenue

September 18, 2013

V Kamalakara Rao, TNN |


VISAKHAPATNAM: The ongoing Samaikyandhra strike by the employee unions of AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has made a dent in the revenues of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). With 2,849 APSRTC buses off the roads since the midnight of August 12 in the Vizianagaram zone alone, NHAI has lost out on toll charges of Rs 82.3 lakh from the state-owned transport corporation till August 26 in the four districts of Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari.

All the 27 depots falling under the Vizianagaram zone comprising Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts daily operate 2,849 buses, including 2,271 RTC-owned and 578 hired buses, to various parts of the state and other key destinations like Chennai and Bangalore. All these 27 depots pay Rs 6.3 lakh daily to NHAI towards toll gate charges.

APSRTC’s Vizianagaram zone pays Rs 1.9 crore monthly to NHAI towards the toll gate charges for their buses plying on national highways such as NH-26, 30, 40, 71 and even NH-16 from Chennai to Kolkata passing through parts of the north coastal districts. APSRTC’s Visakhapatnam region alone pays Rs 65 lakh per month to NHAI by way of toll charges, while East Godavari region pays Rs 71 lakh and Vizianagaram region (comprising depots of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts) pays Rs 54 lakh monthly.

For instance, an RTC bus from Visakhapatnam is supposed to cross 12 toll gates to reach Chennai, 11 toll gates for Bangalore, 10 toll gates for Hyderabad and five toll gates for Vijayawada. Similarly, an RTC bus from Visakhapatnam to Srikakulam is supposed to cross two toll gates and three toll gates for Palasa or Icchapuram.

Confirming the revenue loss, NHAI project director, VK Vijaya Sri, who takes care of 7 toll plazas on the 330-km stretch of NH-16 from Icchapuram in Srikakulam (Odisha and Andhra Pradesh border) to Tuni in Visakhapatnam district, said that NHAI had seen its revenues shrink over the last 13 days due to the RTC strike. “We are losing around 30-50% of our tollgate collections every day since the strike, largely due to the lack of APSRTC buses,” Vijaya Sri said.

Though NHAI garners revenue from the other transport vehicles like lorries, trucks and cars, APSRTC accounts for 50 to 60% of NHAI’s total monthly revenue through toll gate charges levied on various national highways in the state, said a senior NHAI official. “The RTC’s strike is having its impact on the Centre’s revenues through NHAI. If the stir continues like this for one month, NHAI will lose about Rs 25 crore across the state due to non-collection of toll charges from APSRTC,” the official said.

When contacted, APSRTC Vizianagaram zone executive director A Ramakrishna said that the zone was indirectly saving money by not paying toll gate charges to the NHAI because of the strike. The zone monthly pays about Rs 1.9 crore only towards tollgate charges. “Though we are able to save money due to non-payment of tollgate and fuel charges due to the strike, the zone is losing nearly Rs 2.8 to 3 crore on a daily basis due to all the buses not plying on the road. Overall, the zone has lost Rs 50 crore due to the protests and strike since July 31 following the Congress Working Committee’s announcement on July 30,” Ramakrishna told TOI.

Share your comments here: