Bokaro’s dream to take a bus ride has been grounded for a few months more.
Reason: the transport department, which had earlier been banking on leading PSUs and corporate houses to provide the public transport fleet, is now scouting for a private agency that will both procure and ply 10 buses. In return, the agency will win tax rebate from the government and advertisement revenue from corporate houses.
Although some half a dozen private players are said to have evinced interest, they want either the department to procure new buses or let them run old ones. Ironing out differences and executing government formalities are expected to delay the service.
This is absolutely bad news for citizens because Bokaro is one city in Jharkhand that has to travel 14km to reach a railway station. The distance gives trekkers and taxis, which form the vulnerable backbone of public transport here, a grand opportunity to fleece helpless passengers.
To ease hassles, deputy commissioner Uma Shankar Singh had flagged off the bus trial on New Year’s Day, with the promise of a full-fledged service on seven routes on R-Day. January 26 came and went by, but woes remain unchanged.
District bosses had approached biggies such as Bokaro Steel, CCL and ONGC, but the prospect of a tedious permission process and the challenge of running and maintaining buses, kept them away.