Experts can do wonders for development if they possess the right expertise and if the expert is from an ivy league college then one just needs to hand over the baton to him.
This is probably what the government thought and handed over the reins of the ailing APSRTC to an expert and a MBA from Wharton, Mr Madireddy Pratap IPS to turnaround APSRTC.
Having earlier worked in the CMO during the Chief Ministership of Late Sri YS Rajasekhar Reddy Mr Pratap is credited with having brought in huge investments to undivided AP and helped many projects take off while providing gainful employment in many industrial segments.
State Public sector enterprises, APSRTC has been saddled with an old and rickety fleet of buses, depleting finances coupled with a lacklustre and aging staff.
It has thus been tough for it to compete with private bus operators despite the fact that private bus owners do not even pay matching salaries and emoluments as the public sector APSRTC does.
Therefore in situations like these it is often under the right leadership that organizations start to turnaround.
Since taking over as the VC and MD of APSRTC at the beginning of this year Mr Pratap has drawn up massive expansion plans for APSRTC from modernization of bus stations to increasing built up area at bus depots to venturing into cargo services and even attracting private sector investments.
Out of total 425 bus stations that are present across the state Mr Reddy wants to double the existing built up area of about 100 bus stations from 10 Lakh square feet to almost 20 Lakh square feet at an estimated cost of Rs 450/- Crores.
“We want to double the built up area of 100 bus stations from 10 Lakh square feet to almost 20 Lakh square feet at an estimated cost of Rs 450/- Crores.”
Mr. Madireddy Pratap IPS,VC & MD, APSRTC
The land is already available with RTC and may acquire more land if need be. As per sources the revenue from the existing 10 Lakh square feet is likely to double to Rs 200 crores from the present Rs 120 crores.
And whats more preliminary discussions have shown that bankers are keen to Lend for the expansion too.
A well travelled person himself, Mr Pratap is keen to develop world class bus depots in the state. He is disappointed by the fact that the state of AP does not even have a single world class bus station. He opines having world class bus stations will also attract tourists to the state of AP.
While the ground floor will be exclusively retained by RTC to lease/rent out, plans are underway to consider involving private investors under PPP or similar mode to construct basement, multi floors for offices, shopping centers and budget hotels.
He simultaneously wants to make RTC more customer friendly by developing and introducing various APPS for enhanced customer experience.
Gainful redeployment and relocation of surplus staff is also being mulled so that staff can be put to the best use instead of retrenching them.
Another service Mr Pratap wants RTC to get into a big way is cargo services. He feels that having the advantage of dedicated bus services with fixed schedules and availability of ample storage at depots can significantly help APSRTC further monetize its operations and assets.