The State Government is in the process of procuring 1,436 new buses at an estimated cost of Rs. 350 crore for launching operations on new routes and replacing old ones.

Transport Minister M. Mahender Reddy said the State-owned Road Transport Corporation would introduce 236 mini-buses in the next couple of months to cater to rural and remote areas. The RTC had been permitted to enhance fares by 6.27 per cent recently as it had to meet costs.

Replying to queries during the Question Hour in the Assembly, the Minister said as of now, 1,128 inter-State services were in operation between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, of which 641 belonged to AP and 487 to Telangana. A separate inter-State agreement was due to be signed consequent on the bifurcation.

When TRS member V. Srinivas Goud mentioned illicit operation of buses by some private operators, the Minister said no such incident had come to his notice. He would, however, look into the issue and take action against illegal operators.

Mr. Goud said permits were accorded to several AP-based operators even after bifurcation and this was resulting in huge loss to the State-owned corporation. Congress member T. Jeevan Reddy said private operators were operating multiple buses on single permit.

Congress members wanted the Government to take steps to reimburse the amounts lost by the corporation on account of concessions extended to different sections. The TSRTC had incurred losses to the tune of Rs. 700 crore as the Government and the GHMC had not reimbursed the amounts due to it.

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