The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 7 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fresh boost to ring route fleet

Growing in strength

Patna, Dec. 6: The state capital will ring in the New Year with an expansion in the ring route bus service.

Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) has asked operators to procure 72 new buses that would run on eight new routes in and around the capital. The fleet would add to the existing 80 ring route buses operating along eight routes.

“The corporation has placed orders for 72 new buses that would run under the ring route bus service. The agreements for most of the buses have also been finalised. We are just waiting for the delivery of the buses. They are likely to become operational by the end of this month,” a BSRTC official said.

Sources said around five operators have been engaged for the state capital’s ring route bus service expansion plan. However, Eden Transport Private Limited, the firm that is already running 72 buses on the route, has been excluded from the expansion programme. “We have applied to run 72 buses under BSRTC’s Patna ring route bus service expansion scheme. But we have not received any response so far. One probable reason for the BSRTC’s silence could be our condition of not operating on routes on which small operators run one or two buses. Another clause in our tender states that we should be awarded permits for operating all 72 buses because the application clearly stated that the operator applying for maximum number of buses on a route would be awarded the tender,” said Sachchidanand Rai, the managing director of Eden Transport.

The 72 new buses would be run by BSRTC on a public-private partnership mode for which the corporation had earlier invited operators as part of its subsidy scheme. According to the plan, the BSRTC provides a subsidy of Rs 7.5 lakh on each bus and, in return, the applicant has to share 11 per cent of the maximum fare on all 32 seats on every trip.