DTC Does a U Turn
This was the headlines in the HT today; I believe it should be changed to “DTC planning to do a 360 very soon” . If it weren’t for the Common Wealth Games we would still be traveling in those 25 years old busses but the question is what will happen after the games? Will DTC get back to it’s old ways?
Below is the Interview with DTC Chairman cum Managing Directory Mr. Ramesh Negi. It was published in the HT today. Honestly his answers did not make much sense to me and therefore I have added my own questions below his answers. You never know, maybe i get a response 😉
Q. DTC seem to be on course to revival? What led to the turnaround?
This is the government’s conscious effort to strengthen the public transport system in Delhi. I think the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2010 is the major catalyst. The outcry against the Blueline buses also forced the government to revamp the bus system by strengthening the DTC and inviting the big corporate houses to replace individual and small bus operators.
My Q. Games are the ONLY catalyst in the DTC upgrade, Blueline busses have been killing people since they started but nothing was done then. How come this sudden change of heart?
Q. How are you going to bring that turnaround?
A. DTC has always been known as a safe and secure mode of transport in Delhi. We are now working on two things its reach and punctuality in the next two years, the DTC’s fleet will go up to 6,500 from its current 3,500 buses. We want to be adequately there on streets and in time.
My Q. Safe and secure are the same things and why is it going to take you 2 more years to increase the reach and punctuality? We have already given you more than 25 years for that.
Q. DTC is believed to be a major loss making body…
A. We are incurring an operational cost of Rs. 60 crore a day while our earning is about Rs. 30 crore a day In 2006-2007, we incurred a loss of Rs. 330 crore. To cut our operation cost, we have outsourced the maintenance of buses to the manufacturers. It will help us save Rs 2-4 per kilometer on operation cost and improve our efficiency too.
My Q. If the operational cost is Rs. 60 crore a day and earnings are Rs. 30 crore a day, then shouldn’t your loss in 2006-2007 be Rs. 10920 crore (60-30*365 days)? How can it be just Rs. 330 crore? Expenditure of Rs. 60 crore a day sounds ridiculously high, please get your figures straight.
Q. What are the other revenue making initiatives the DTC is going to take?
A. The GPS system on buses will prove as major money-spinner for us. We have already awarded the contract to install GPS system on DTC buses as well as private buses. It is going to be a major money-spinner About 1,400 steel furniture bus queue shelters are being developed on BOT basis. Each bus shelter will give us Rs one lakh per month. However, half of it will go to MCD. Budget hotels and shopping complexes at DTC depots, advertisement possibilities at bus terminals and advertising on buses are some other options we are exploring.
My Q. How is a GPS system on busses become a major money spinner? Kindly elaborate.
Q. When do you think DTC will break even?
A. Public transport system can nowhere be a profit-making body It runs on government subsidy We are rather looking at making its operation effective, minimizing its losses and offer public a reliable mode of transport which could induce people to modal shift.
My Q. Why can’t a public transport system never become a profit making body? Haven’t you seen what Mr. Laloo has done with the Railways. There are so many private busses operating in Delhi and I am sure no private bus owner operates in loss, this means that if private operators can make profits then so can the DTC.