The Telegraph
Thursday , May 9 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Private push to rev up city bus

Fed up with a good idea going to the dogs, East Singhbhum district administration and local civic bodies are gearing up with a proposal to get JNNURM city bus service up and running on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

Jamshedpur and Mango notified area committees and Jugsalai Municipality, with inputs from East Singhbhum additional district magistrate (law and order) Ajit Shankar, have put together a proposal, which they will send the state urban development department on Thursday.

Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee has proposed to take out an expression of interest to select a private party to run the city bus service, which the urban development department — that gets funds from JNNURM — will monitor. The urban development department will also repair the 40-odd buses before handing over the 50-member fleet to the private agency.

The department will also decide if the private party pays it a fixed yearly sum. It will also be the implementing agency’s onus to pay salaries to city bus employees — drivers and conductors.

Right now, of 50 Swaraj Mazda buses procured under JNNURM in 2010 at a cost of nearly Rs 5 crore, 10 are running in three of seven routes.

Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation, which took upon itself to run the show, fared poorly.

The city bus service seems to be running around in vicious circles. As maintenance is bad, one-fifth of buses run on three routes, while no permanent stand or designated stops and bitter rivalry from the 120-odd private mini buses result in fewer passengers.

On April 25, urban development principal secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni at a meeting in Ranchi asked local urban bodies to draft a proposal.