Delays in adding new buses to their active fleet resulted in avoidable interest loss of Rs. 10.29 crore and excess fuel cost of Rs. 3.94 crore to State Transport Undertakings (STUs), according to the CAG’s report on public sector undertakings for the year ended March 31, 2017.

“As the interest on loan for procurement of chassis as well as the body building cost could be recovered only through the operation of these buses, it is imperative for the STUs to put all new buses on the road as early as possible,” the report said.

According to the CAG, a test-check of records pertaining to the purchase of chassis and the time taken by all the STUs to get the buses on the road, during the five-year period ending March 2017 revealed that out of 4,357 buses, 2,020, or 46.36%, were made operational only after a delay of 90 days from the date of their purchase. The report said the construction of bus bodies on 2,020 chassis had been completed, and the vehicles were ready for registration with the Regional Transport Office. But these buses were kept idle without any commercial use.

“The government replied (in September 2017) that it was the prevailing practice for the Chief Minister to flag off all new buses on a particular day in a grand manner, and obtaining a convenient date for flagging off new buses was beyond its administrative control,” the report said. The CAG noted that administrative delays had resulted in loss without justification.

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