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GHMC compensation to RTC unfulfilled

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The Hindu         03.01.2018  

GHMC compensation to RTC unfulfilled

TSRTC buses parked at the Rani Gunj bus station in Secunderabad.K.V.S. GIRI  

Transport corporation had incurred a loss of Rs. 340 crore till November this financial year

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s directions to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), over recompensation to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) for suffering losses, have remained mere words. For, the civic body, struggling to garner funds for its own projects, has not paid a penny as compensation for the past two years.

This financial year, upto November, the transport corporation incurred losses of Rs. 340 crore for its city operations, which is Rs. 31 crore less than the same accumulated for the corresponding period last year. This was revealed by Transport Minister P.Mahender Reddy after a review meeting. Of the losses, Rs. 260 crore was incurred from 29 depots in the city.

Sources at GHMC said RTC was compensated only for the first year after the orders came. A total of Rs. 337 crore, considerably a big amount for the civic body to part with, were transferred to the TSRTC for 2015-16.

While issuing the directions, Mr. Rao had drawn comparisons with cities such as New York, London, Barcelona and Paris, where urban local bodies handled transportation along with gas, power, and water supply sectors.

However, during 2016-17, when TSRTC sought to shift the losses incurred on urban transportation to GHMC, the same was not fulfilled. After a discussion, the standing committee resolved that it was beyond GHMC’s means to pay the RTC.

“We wrote to the State government expressing our inability to compensate RTC. The issue is still unresolved,” informed a senior official.

The civic body is yet to receive Rs. 400 crore due to it from the government in the form of transfer duties, grants, property tax on government buildings and professional tax compensations. The amount includes about Rs. 170 crore from Finance Commission allocations last year, after payment of Rs. 100 crore. While Rs. .200 crore worth stamp duties accrued to GHMC during the first quarter, only Rs. 50 crore has been paid so far.

Of the non-plan grants, only Rs. 9.33 crore of the first quarter has been paid. Earlier, the GHMC received non-plan grants on quarterly basis. However, of late, the amount is being disbursed in instalments, with no specific time duration, officials said.

This year, it has earned a revenue of Rs. 380 crore from building permissions up to December, up from last year’s Rs. 272 crore in the same month. By the year-end, the revenue is expected to cross Rs. 600 crore. Officials attribute it to speedier application processing, thanks to online permissions. Road cutting permissions have garnered Rs. 100 crore.