Apprehensive of auto-cracy in the capital or bored of a beleaguered city bus service? The RMC is at your service.
Ranchi’s civic guardian is close to rolling out 30 low-floor buses — 10 of them air-conditioned — at a cost of over Rs 12 crore to cushion the regular commuter rush and also the chaos in the event of strikes sponsored by auto-rickshaws and city buses.
For three days from September 21, residents of the capital had a harrowing time commuting, as the city’s diesel auto fleet of 9,000 stayed off roads leaving them at the mercy of 70 jampacked city buses.
Deputy chief executive officer of RMC Shailender Kumar Lal said a tender had been floated two months ago. “There were two bidders — Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. We selected the latter because of the low price the firm quoted,” Lal said.
RMC officials said the 30 low-floor buses — 20 non-AC and 10 AC — would also be a boon for senior citizens and those physically challenged. The are currently 70 designated bus stops, but the number will be increased, they added.
While the cost of a non-AC bus is Rs 32 lakh, that of its coolers avatar is Rs 62 lakh.
Lal said the RMC had already sought approval from the government for purchasing the buses. “Once we get the nod, the fleet will be procured and they will ply on capital roads,” he added.
The RMC official allayed fears of another city bus like experience, saying that elaborate routes and halts would be chalked out for the elite fleet.
JTDC managing director Sunil Kumar Singh has welcomed the move.