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Bus stand project stuck ahead of kick-off

- Seven-month wait for upgrade plan; eight new depots included

The ambitious plan of Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) to redevelop bus depots in the state on the lines of international airports and railway stations has been deferred by nearly seven months at the very outset. Authorities concerned claim that it would take at least four months before the project takes off.

There is, however, a glimmer of light for the project. The corporation has extended the scope of the project from the original six to 14. It recently issued another request for quotation (RFQ) for this purpose.

“We released a fresh RFQ on March 20 in a bid to get more firms and create competitive conditions in the bidding stage. We have also increased the number of bus depots from six to 14 towns across the state. It would take another four months to start the construction work,” said Uday Singh Kumawat, administrator, BSRTC.

The Telegraph in its edition on September 15, 2011, had reported about the original plans of the BSRTC to redevelop six bus depots. The corporation released the corresponding RFQ on July 6, 2011, inviting firms to construct modern bus terminal-cum-commercial complex in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

The modern bus stands were supposed to be developed at Bankipore in Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Chhapra, Darbhanga and Bhagalpur. The due date for the bid was August 10, 2011. The short-listed firms were supposed to be awarded the work within a month.

A pre-qualification meeting on the project was held on July 25, 2011. Representatives of Assotech Limited, Noida, SKS Logistics Limited, Amrapali Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, Noida, Ultra Homes Construction Private Ltd, New Delhi, Bharti Realty, New Delhi, Eden City Group, Calcutta, IVRCL Ltd, EDMAC Consulting Pvt. Ltd and Colliers International took part in the meeting. Six applications were received against the RFQ, and four of them were short-listed.

According to the original plan, the project was supposed to be taken to the request for proposal (RFP) stage. The short-listed firms would have been asked to submit their bids by August 10, 2011. Though the BSRTC has moved these four short-listed firms to the RFP stage, it was not satisfied with the overall response received.

Though the names of the four selected firms were not revealed, a source said the corporation did not want to go ahead with only a small number of companies. Hence, it had issued the new RFQ to get more firms involved and increase the competitive nature of the bids.

At present, many of the bus depots in these towns are either dilapidated or have remained vacant. Sources said the proposed bus terminal-cum-commercial complexes might include shopping malls, cinemas, food courts, restaurants and ATM kiosks among other facilities. It may also have lodging facilities.

The terminals would also have contemporary interiors with central air-conditioning and various facilities for travellers like waiting lounges, automatic schedule display, baggage trolleys and others. Safety parameters, including CCTV cameras, metal and arm detectors could also be included.