| A city bus in Patna. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Come January, 75 swanky buses would ply on the city streets.
Bihar Urban Transport Services Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) notified by the state urban development and housing department through a notification on December 9, would operate the buses. Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) has placed an order for the vehicles with Tata Motors.
The buses would be procured under the urban transport scheme of Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) — a sub-mission of JNNURM — for a collective amount of Rs 45 crore.
S. Siddharth, secretary, urban development and housing department, told The Telegraph on Friday: “BUIDCo selected Tata Motors for supplying 260 buses in Patna and 40 in Bodhgaya under JNNURM through a bidding process (held in late 2012). After the formation of the SPV, mandatory for the operation of the buses, BUIDCo has placed the order with Tata Motors. It has agreed to supply 75 buses for Patna in the first lot by January next year.”
According to sources, the buses would have minimum 32 seats along with space for a wheelchair. LED-based electronic route display system and audible public address system in English and Hindi would be installed in the buses.
Another electronic display system would display the names of approaching bus stops in Hindi and English.
The buses would be operated in public-private-partnership mode. The firm offering the highest revenue to Bihar Urban Transport Services Limited would be selected for operating the buses.
The state cabinet had on November 19 given its approval for setting up the Bihar Urban Transport Services Limited. Of late, the Union ministry of urban development has been emphasising on forming SPVs for plying the buses procured under JNNURM.
According to sources, JNNURM buses would be operated in 13 cities, including Patna, Bodhgaya and Rajgir.