| A city bus in Patna. Telegraph picture |
The much-awaited city service buses under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) would start rolling by January 25.
Authorities concerned have claimed that around 40 buses, to be delivered by Tata Motors in the first lot, would start running on the streets from the last week of January. Total 260 buses would be introduced in the city under the scheme. Forty similar buses would ply in Bodhgaya.
Apart from buses, the traffic mechanism would also get the much-needed boost with installation of electronic traffic signals, closed-circuit television cameras and modern bus queue centres by March. Such traffic mechanisms were mandated by the ministry of urban development for running urban transport buses under JNNURM.
The central sanctioning and monitoring committee of JNNURM on December 31 sanctioned 207 buses for Bodhgaya, Purnea, Darbhanga, Katihar and Bhagalpur.
On the arrival of JNNURM buses in Patna, a senior official of the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo), said: “The buses to be operated in Patna under the urban transport scheme of JNNURM would not be low-floor ones. These would be standard 32-seater buses. Tata Motors has assured us that it would deliver around 40 buses in the first lot for Patna by January 25. We expect to start running the buses on any day in the last week of this month.”
Acting as the nodal agency for providing urban transport buses under JNNURM, BUIDCo has awarded the contract of supply of 260 buses in Patna and 40 buses in Bodhgaya to Tata Motors. “Tata Motors has been given the deadline to deliver all 300 buses by March this year,” said the BUIDCo official. The buses would be operated by Bihar Urban Transport Services Limited, a special purpose vehicle notified by the urban development and housing department through a notification issued on December 9 last year. The buses would be operated in public-private-partnership mode and the firm, which would offer the highest proportion of revenue in running the buses to Bihar Urban Transport Services Limited, would be selected. “The bidding process for selection of the private operators for running JNNURM buses would also start from this week,” said the official.
The buses would have space for a wheelchair. LED-based electronic route display system, along with audible announcement system in English and Hindi, would be installed at the front, rear and either side. An electronic display system would be installed, to display names of bus stops in Hindi and English alternatively.