This Independence Day, commuters can expect freedom from rickety bus service with a swanky fleet being readied to hit the road.
In all, 260 buses under the centrally sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are about to arrive in the city from the Tata Motors manufacturing plant in Pune within a fortnight.
Urban development and housing department minister Samrat Chaudhary has claimed that the buses would be seen on roads latest by August 15. Sources in Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo), the agency responsible for procurement of the buses, claimed that the mandatory third- party inspection of the buses had been completed at Pune.
“Tata Motors is ready to send the buses from Pune but the issue of night-parking of the vehicles has delayed the delivery by a few weeks. We are also in the final stages to select the private firm, which would run the buses on public-private-partnership (PPP) mode,” said a BUIDCo senior official.
The issue of night-parking of the buses seems to be getting resolved also. “The BUIDCo has entered into few agreements with the state transport department in the last week to utilise various bus depots, including Bankipore and Phulwarisharif, for parking. The work related to development of the new bus queue shelters across the city is also going to start from the first week of July,” said Chaudhary.
The buses to be operated in Patna under the JNNURM urban transport scheme would not be low-floor ones. According to sources, the buses would have 32 seats along with space for one wheelchair.
LED-based electronic route display system along with public address system in English and Hindi would be installed at the front, rear and either side of the buses. Another electronic display system would also be installed inside the bus for announcements of approaching bus stops in Hindi and English.
The buses would be operated by Bihar Urban Transport Services Limited (BUTSL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) notified by the urban development and housing department on December 9 last year.
The state government has already approved proposals for development of total 216 modern bus stop queue shelters in Patna.
“The new bus stop queue shelters, to be developed by a Delhi-based firm, would be made of stainless steel, polycarbonate sheets and prefab material. The work order for installation of the bus shelters with an estimated outlay of Rs 13.72 crore has been issued and the firm is expected to start work next week,” said a senior BUIDCo official.