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Freedom from rickety bus rides today

Commuters can expect freedom from rickety vehicles and bumpy rides before Independence Day.

The first lot of 20 buses under centrally sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) would hit the streets from Thursday. Urban development and housing department minister Samrat Chaudhary would flag off the buses in front of hotel Patliputra Ashok at 12 noon.

The buses would run on two routes — Gandhi Maidan to Saguna Mor via Bailey Road and Gandhi Maidan to Danapur via Digha-Kurji. According to JNNURM norms applicable across the country, the fare for the first 2km is kept at Rs 4, Rs 7 for 5km, Rs 11 for 10km and Rs 15 for 15km and so on. Accordingly, the minimum fare on the two routes has been kept at Rs 4 and the maximum (for the entire route), at Rs 15.

Commuters would be issued printed tickets from an electronic ticketing machine and strict vigil would be kept on overloading on these buses using state-of-the-art surveillance system including closed circuit television cameras and global positioning system. Monthly pass- system would also be issued to commuters in a month’s time.

“Total 20 buses would start plying on the city streets from Thursday and the remaining 240 vehicles would hit streets within three months,” said Chaudhary.

The buses are semi-low 32-seaters with space for a wheelchair. LED-based electronic route display system with audible announcement system in English and Hindi are also installed at the front, rear and sides of the buses.

Delhi based-firm Adie Broswon has been selected for looking after the operation of the buses. It would take care of manpower, including drivers, conductors and other staff for running the buses. It would also look after cleaning of the buses once they reach the depot.

The buses would be parked at two depots of Bihar State Road Transport Corporation at Phulwarisharif and Malsalami, for which the lease has been issued to BUIDCo.