TRIPURA ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION (TRTC) A liability or a potential asset?

Pinak Pani Datta

May 25, 2023, 12:47:03   

TRIPURA ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION (TRTC) A liability or a potential asset?

Pinak Pani Datta is a Young Professional with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He is currently posted in the Research Unit of Press Information Bureau. Views are personal.

Tripura Road Transport Corporation (A Government of Tripura Undertaking) has been established in the year 1969 under the Road Transport Corporation (RTC) Act, 1950.  The main objective of this Corporation is to provided / render an efficient, economical and well-coordinated transport facility to the people of Tripura within the State. 

The above para is published in the welcome page of TRTC website. This is accompanied by a Mission & Vision page on the same website which talks about providing “world class bus service”, “innovation”, “sustainability”, “environmental consciousness”, “continuous learning” and other similar heavy words. 

However, one fact that every person in Tripura will agree to, is that the TRTC is a perennial loss-making institution which has been of no substantial use to the people of Tripura. Rather it has contributed to the degradation of the environment by increasing the carbon footprints of Government of Tripura. A look at the website makes it clear that the TRTC runs only diesel-powered buses. Not a single electric or even CNG bus comprises its fleet of 23 buses. 
It seems that alternative fuel has never been a priority of TRTC or even the Tripura Government.  ONGC has a big establishment in Tripura with multiple gas fields and exploration units. CNG has not been pushed beyond the state capital of Agartala in successive state budgets even though Tripura has been recognized as the largest producer of Natural Gas by the union minister Dharmendra Pradhan himself. 
In a time when Carbon credits are getting more relevant every year, the TRTC provides a lot of potential to revamp its image and functionality and become an asset of importance to the Government. This can be done by replacing the whole fleet with sustainable fuel powered passenger vehicles, preferably electric vehicles (EV). Electric buses have been functional in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai for a few years now. 

TRTC has a lot of land area under its jurisdiction, which being government land can be monetized very easily. There is a TRTC bus depot in every sub-division of Tripura. This area may be developed on similar lines of “Railway stations as City Centers” initiative by the Ministry of Railways. All the bus depots may be turned into electric vehicle (EV) charging stations which can be used by the TRTC fleet as well as public by paying suitable rent / fees for charging. 

This way, the main challenge of the organization i.e. fuel cost will be reduced drastically while earning carbon credits for itself. Further, the monetized charging stations will generate extra revenue. With that the fleet can be doubled and can be run in sync with the railways providing meaningful services to the people of Tripura while setting an example of transformation through adoption of new technology.